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Old 24-11-2014, 23:01   #1
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Customs BVI/USVI

A few questions for all of you with local knowledge.

Once you clear out of the BVI do you have to leave immediately or can you stop along the way, say to dive or snorkel?

Also, I recall reading that you can clear in and out of the BVI all at the same time. That seems like a great time saver if true, especially if you can clear out for a future date. Can anyone confirm if this is true.

Looking forward to an upcoming charter.

Thanks in advance


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Old 24-11-2014, 23:35   #2
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

After clearing out of the BVI you have 24 hours to depart the country's sovereign territory. This gives you enough to time to snorkel and perhaps even to overnight before departing.


When clearing into the BVI with the intent of leaving within 24 hours you can clear in and out at the same time, otherwise you will have to make two trips to customs & immigration. This is the same in most Caribbean countries, the sole exception that springs to mind is Dominica, where I cleared in and out at the same time with a departure date 2 weeks hence.
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Old 25-11-2014, 03:31   #3
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

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After clearing out of the BVI you have 24 hours to depart the country's sovereign territory. This gives you enough to time to snorkel and perhaps even to overnight before departing.


When clearing into the BVI with the intent of leaving within 24 hours you can clear in and out at the same time, otherwise you will have to make two trips to customs & immigration. This is the same in most Caribbean countries, the sole exception that springs to mind is Dominica, where I cleared in and out at the same time with a departure date 2 weeks hence.

Zansin,

It's interesting as when we send our bareboats over they generally let you clear in and out at the same time for weeklong or so stay. If I go over on my own boat they want me to come back and clear out when I'm leaving.

Jay
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Old 25-11-2014, 05:01   #4
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

Thank you! Knowing I have 24 hours to leave after clearing out will help my planning.

If I could trouble you with one more question. When clearing in I understand that the captain may go alone to customs and present the passports of all passengers. Are all passengers required to stay on the boat during this time or can they start exploring the island?

Thanks again.


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Old 25-11-2014, 05:44   #5
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

All passengers are required to stay on board until the skipper has finished clearing in. BVI isn't known for vigorously enforcing this requirement, like Antigua for example, but if you were unlucky enough to get caught, the fines can be quite high.
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Old 25-11-2014, 10:51   #6
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

Got it. Thanks


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Old 25-11-2014, 10:59   #7
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

BVI treats visiting US bareboats differently. You can clear out at the same time you clear in, just pay the cruising fee. Leave at the end of your charter. Used to do it all the time at JVD and West End. Clear back in at Cruz Bay.
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Old 26-11-2014, 00:53   #8
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

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BVI treats visiting US bareboats differently. You can clear out at the same time you clear in, just pay the cruising fee. Leave at the end of your charter. Used to do it all the time at JVD and West End. Clear back in at Cruz Bay.
Out of curiosity, when was the last time you actually checked in and out at the same time for a stay longer than 24 hours?


Remember that while only the skipper goes ashore for customs and immigration in the BVI, everyone aboard must do so when returning to the USVI.
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Old 26-11-2014, 03:02   #9
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Out of curiosity, when was the last time you actually checked in and out at the same time for a stay longer than 24 hours?


Remember that while only the skipper goes ashore for customs and immigration in the BVI, everyone aboard must do so when returning to the USVI.
June was the last time I went on my own boat for more than a day. Most of the time I'm only on my boat for a couple days at a time and I would just assume stay on St John. But we send 10 or 15 boats a week over there from the charter fleet. They typically let the our bare boats clear in and out at the same time.

On my personal boat I have to go back and clear out.

Jay
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Old 26-11-2014, 13:06   #10
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

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Out of curiosity, when was the last time you actually checked in and out at the same time for a stay longer than 24 hours?


Remember that while only the skipper goes ashore for customs and immigration in the BVI, everyone aboard must do so when returning to the USVI.

I'm not my friend CaptJay, even though some do confuse us! But to answer your question, I just cleared in and out for multiple days at the same time on my personal sailboat less then a week ago. In the past 8 years I've cleared in and out for multi day visits dozens of times. It appears to be at the discretion of the agent. Walking in I can tell what I will get as soon as I see who is behind the desk...


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Old 26-11-2014, 13:35   #11
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

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Walking in I can tell what I will get as soon as I see who is behind the desk...
Bingo!
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Old 26-11-2014, 14:44   #12
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Re: Customs BVI/USVI

It also has something to do with whether all the people who enter will leave on the same boat. I have never known a crewed charter boat to be denied checking out at the same time as checking in, as long as everybody that came in was going out at the same time on the same boat. Sometimes, some of the group will stay in the BVI, either to depart directly from there, or for a shore stay. Those types of charters have to check in and out separately, which is logical as the immigration wants your visa card back when you leave. I am not surprised that bareboats or even private boats are allowed to do this, and I am also not surprised that there may be some judgements calls for these categories. Crewed yachts tend to be known entities with lots of permits applied for and granted. Bareboats, not so much. Private boats, particularly if just passing through, not at all. So there is some logic. It's also true that while you have 24 hours to leave, should your boat be inspected during that period you are likely to get lots of grief.
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