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Old 05-12-2010, 09:59   #1
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Clearing In to Antigua

It seems Antigua customs are up to their old tricks again, particularly in Jolly Harbour. If anyone but the skipper leaves the vessel prior to being cleared, or if the vessel arrives after hours and ties-up to the customs quay, expect a big fine:

Antigua Newsletters: Antigua's Yachting Insider

Adventure Antigua - a blog about island life spent with sun, sea and sand.: Crazy Customs Fines will have a negative effect on the yachting sector.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:11   #2
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I can’t think of any legitimate reason a cruiser could have to complain that Customs will “... enforce the laws as they are written ...”.

Antigua Yacht Entry and Clearance Procedures
Antigua Barbuda Marine Association, marine, cruising,yachting and sailing information for Antigua
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:45   #3
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What's the beef?

The rules have always been no one but the skipper leaves the boat until the skipper has cleared in. Not exactly a hard one to stick with in Jolly Harbour as the office is less than 50 metres from the dock.

Why not try arriving in the USA without clearing customs etc and then wandering off ashore and see what happens to you there...............

The rules state they may have the prosecute in Antigua if you do get it wrong, but reality is when we did into English Harbour and we all realised we'd got it wrong with wife / crew standing alongside me at the desk, all they did was raise a smile and an eyebrow, graciously accept my apology, and then stamp the passports.

That's eactly how I want to be treated when arriving in a new country.

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Old 05-12-2010, 11:06   #4
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Immigration/Customs at Jolly Harbor has always been notorious for their interrputation of correct procedures. English Harbor, on the other hand, deals with many more Mega Yachts, and people of affluence, and have become more tolerent of "aliens".
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Old 05-12-2010, 14:18   #5
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I recall checking in at English Harbour last year and there was a bit of a fuss with a Frenchman clearing in ahead of me. His wife hadn't signed one of her forms and the gentleman stated "she's gone off to do laundry so can I sign for her?" and after being told that no-one is to leave the vessel until after completed immigration and customs he got angry and said "but that is not the way we do that in France" and I could see the inspector's visage light up as she called over the supervisor. Needless to say, it took a while before I was finally able to clear in.
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Old 09-12-2010, 14:59   #6
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If it were not for the antics of yachties and Comedy and Irritation officials, what would we all talk about at the bar?

I always try to clear in at Jolly Harbour. There are four doors from which to choose. Who gets me first? I think it is the far right one. Unless it is not.

Can't wait to go back.
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Old 13-12-2010, 19:15   #7
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I've checked in @ both English and Jolly and found both were about the same, helpful to foreigners checking in who were smiling and ready to follow their procedures, unhelpful and ready to make sure everything was perfect to those who were trying to put the C & I officers in their "place".

It also always helps to have "just arrived".
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Old 13-12-2010, 19:34   #8
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Entering a foriegn country is just like entering the living room of someone you are just meeting. Good manners, patience for "their customs " and a pleasant smile will almost always overcome any potential problems with government officials. Respect earns respect. And its their friggin country.
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Old 13-12-2010, 20:11   #9
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I wandered into English Harbour at the beginning of the Classics this year and had no issue clearing in with my wife and 3 kids all with me at HM Customs. In fact, we divided up the forms so that I didn't have to fill them all in myself.

Yes, I know it's not kosher, but I think everyone realizes that the 'bad guys' tend not to show up at customs at all. If you show up at the office, chances are you're OK.

Cheers,
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Old 25-02-2012, 08:12   #10
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Re: Clearing In to Antigua

it would appear from the comments of those who have been there, that clearing in to Antigua (either Jolly or English) is not much different from most other countries.

Having written that, what is the drill? Can you anchor out and dinghy in to clear? Or do you have to tie up to a dock and head in? What happens if you arrive after hours, e.g. on a Sunday- do you wait for opening? Finally, what fees are payable?

Jim
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Old 25-02-2012, 20:54   #11
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Re: Clearing In to Antigua

I've read all the blogs about what happened in Jolly harbour and the comments above. It seems like everybody agrees that if "you smile", "you behave correctly", this wouldn't have happened. Ignorance is not an excuse and if you are going to one country you should know how to properly check in; I agree. But charging someone 5.000 EC because the wife went to bathroom or next door pizza restaurant , refusing to make check in, keep him for couple of days, questionning several timeslike someone who murdered tens of people is not imposing the law. As far as I know many countries in the Caribbean has similar laws and regulations but they are not imposed that way.
We arrived to Rodnay Bay in St Lucia late in the evening and one of my crew left the boat for buying a cigarette althought I told him several times that he shouldn't leave the boat before we clear in. What should I have done ? Lock him in a cabin ?
The problem is not the laws but he people who interprete and impose them. The custom process İn Martique is probably the best I've ever seen and yet the authority in Le Marin is suggested to be avoided. (which I did)
Meanwhile, I've checked in and out in 10 countries over the last 4 months and most of them required a visa for the passport I am carrying. With the exception of Greece, noone has ever asked my passport , let alone checking my visa and noone has ever baorded my boat for any reason.
Aren't they doing their job, or are they doing what is best for their countries ?
Cheers
Yeloya
PS: I've ckecked in Jolly harbour yesterday w/out an issue
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Old 26-02-2012, 08:08   #12
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Re: Clearing In to Antigua

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
... The problem is not the laws but he people who interprete and impose them ...
I'd have thought that the people who break them might have sometimes been part of the problem.
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