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Old 23-05-2008, 08:16   #46
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Zan,

What you say is true, in my experience. All of them have asked for my outbound clearance from the previous country. If I've been in the USVI, or the U.S. in the case of an offshore passage to the BVI, I just tell them where I left from and that the U.S. doesn't require it's citizens to clear out. I've never had anyone question that.

Rubikoop is obviously becoming very well-known in the BVI, since they don't ask him for outbound clearance. It helps to be a celebrity, I suppose.
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Old 23-05-2008, 14:15   #47
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My customs experience even before drinking Painkillers

Since I seem to have consistent, but unique, experiences maybe we should look at what we are doing differently from each other. My SOP is to have forms completed before entering BVI Customs and Immigration. About 2/3 of the time I am on a day sail to Jost so that is the office I generally visit. The remaining 1/3 is the West End office. My normal time in and out of an office is less than ten minutes which includes the required customary small talk with the employees. What I have seen is people who are filling out paperwork in the office or ask for clarification of questions on the form are generally asked more questions when they get to the counter. With all the inter-island travel you guys do, I would assume the forms are pretty similar everywhere.

What do you guys do that is different than me? You always leave an extra $20 on the counter don't you? Just kidding.

Hud I find it interesting that you actually have had to tell BVI Cust & Imm personel that no outbound paperwork is required from the US. Do you suppose they were playing with you? Are you aware that the folks at the West End/Sopers Hole and Roadtown offices probably handle a few thousand US citizens per week? Most are on the ferries but the process is the same. Jost handles dozens of pleasure boats every day, on the weekends more than half are coming from the USVI. I have gone through the Roadtown office just once and never used the Virgin Gorda one.

I will be sailing with friends to Jost Van Dyke tomorrow and will be sure and note any changes from when I was there last Sunday and report back to this forum. Unfortunately my friends do not have a LBO card so we will have to get them back into the US the old fashoined way.

Have a great weekend everyone.
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Old 23-05-2008, 14:39   #48
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Rubikoop,

I was talking about the Caribbean islands in general. I can't recall if I've been asked for outbound clearance papers from the U.S. in BVI, to tell you the truth. They did want them when I came in from St. Martin.

Most of the time I've cleared in or out at either Virgin Gorda or Road Town. Once at Jost and twice at West End. It usually no hassle at all anywhere, but Jost and West End are definitely the friendliest offices.
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Old 24-05-2008, 04:51   #49
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FarCry - I've never come into the BVI from the USA, just Antigua and St. Maarten, so always had to present my previous clearing-out form. I made the mistake once of trying Road Town, I arrived early from St. Maarten but didn't have a dinghy (it had been stolen there) and after an hour of trying to get someone to help me off my boat I called in and asked for permission to sail up to Hodge's Creek and take a cab in. They granted it immediately and were pretty efficient when I took a taxi in to town two hours later - except you have to go upstairs for one part and downstairs for the other.
I have the paperwork filled out for clearing into the USA (but haven't done it) and it seems a lot more complicated and involved than other procedures.
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Old 24-05-2008, 05:36   #50
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Rubikoop's experiences are the same as what I have seen in more than a dozen USVI/BVI clearances and the Local Boater Option makes things even simpler on the clearance back into the US or USVI or Puerto Rico... where I no longer even have to appear... just call it in.

If you have BVI paperwork completed when you enter, they do take you more as a knowledgeable/ professional than if you have to fill out papers when you arrive. I always try to have half a dozen aboard... but BVI will charge you for each form... no free-bees.

Again this is only pertaining for USVI BVI clearnaces.... the topic subject, but is also applicable for any US entry with the LBO certification and as I recall it is for US citizens only but I do recall I was asked if it was a foreign owned/ registered boat... so some other options may be available. If interested do a search as HUD posted the exact requirement link a few weeks ago.... something I had to show my local customs office when I went in to apply... they were under the impression it was only for Florida to Bahama traffic.
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Old 09-11-2015, 16:13   #51
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

fly into STT and spend a couple of days visiting there. easy ferry to St. John etc.

then ferry to BVI and stay there. BVI is MUCH MORE BEAUTIFUL and interesting. we have done a bvi sailing about 8 times. love it.

Debbie
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:17   #52
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

Our experience clearing customs out of Sopers Hole, Tortola and clearing in at Cruz Bay, St. Johns, USVI. We had planned to tour about the island since we had read many good reports on how great St. Johns was.

Two different universes as to customs.

Mellow Sopers hole, just my first mate, and I, the ladies went for ice creame and did not have to appear at the customs house there at Sopers Hole.

We presented our 4 passports and ships papers We were greeted happily by the customs gentleman. He looked over our documents, and asked us where we were going.

I told him , a couple of days on St. Johns, and initially Cruz Bay to check in with customs there. My buddy was drinking a beer, and had set it down on the customs desk. The agent reaches over, picks up Bill's Beer, has a swig, hands the beer back, stamps away and we thank and wave and head off for the passage.

Arriving at Cruz bay, what a zoo. We wanted to pick up a mooring, but none were open. Sea planes were landing, speed boats racing around,
delivery landing type cargo barges roaring and belching, other vessels coming and going, personal water craft, it was a mess.


So, we pass on the mooring and pull up to the customs dock. We take in all of our documentation. Bill and I. No beers this time.


As we enter the customs house door, we are greeted by a foul mood large female agent, no smile, and she says " What do you want ? " . So I told her we wished to enter and stay a couple of days. She says " Where is your crew ? "


The ladies were on board...." Get them !" I am out the door and tell the gals , " Get in here, now, you have to be present ! "

Well, now for a woman who has to put on their cover up, brush hair and what ever , is done in neutral or reverse speed.

I walk back in figuring that the gals would present themselves shortly and all would be well.


Nope, the agent growls " Get them in here NOW. Or I will not clear you in." Out, I go again, grab the ladies and bring them to the desk. She looks thru this giant book. I am assuming it is names of U.S. Citizens, or bad guys, but it was about the size of ten huge telephone books.

She starts her administrative work, and asks how long we would be staying. Well, I do not feel like going thru a departing the USVI customs procedure with her again.


" I think we will just sail over to Leisnster bay, snorkel Watermellon cay, spend the night at Leinster bay, and sail back to tortola in the morning.
Can you clear us in and out now, so that we can make an early depature? She says nothing but stamps were being banged on to our passport pages. Whew !

Great time in Leinster Bay, but while relaxing on board, I watched a U.S.C.G. vessel, hove to just outside the harbor. Looked like they may have been checking out the anchored boats in the bay. All must have been well. Later, they departed without any vessel inspections.

The next day, we were moored back in Sopers Hole. Bill and I, passports, and a fresh bottle of red stripe for the customs agent. We walked up to the desk to check in.

He looked at us, and said, " That was a short stay ! "


" We found we like the BVI much better, so here we are."

He just smiles and stamped our 4 pass ports..." Ya Mon, they wind up pretty tight over dere. "

This was some time ago, have no idea as to current haps in Cruz bay, but we have had many, many more BVI sailing vacations...all good vibes.

Summary:

The customs procedure was pleasant and easy in the BVI. Not quite the same attitude in the USVI, in Cruz Bay.
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Old 26-07-2016, 09:24   #53
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

C&I at Cruz Bay St John is a bit of a crapshoot - most agents are friendly and reasonable, but there's one in particular who is not. These days, she's likely to demand that you proceed immediately to the incinerator in Charlotte Amalie to dispose of all trash and the entire contents of your fridge and freezer, and then some. Correct response is to smile and nod.
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Old 26-07-2016, 10:55   #54
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

No offense, but even the most cursory review of customs procedures will tell you that all crew members must present themselves, with their passports, when checking into the USVI. Whether the woman was in a bad mood or not, she was simply following the clearly-publicized rules when insisting that everyone had to be there.
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Old 05-08-2016, 19:38   #55
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

bvisailing32, it's been 25 years since the seaplanes were lost to St. John and 10+ years since the commercial wharf moved to Enighed Pond. All moorings in Cruz Bay remain private. You can anchor in the creek on the north side of the channel towards St. John C&I, outside the green channel markers in 6' or less. We hang a half foot lower and prefer not to get mud on our keel, as it were, and take a mooring ball at Lindt Point or Caneel Bay and take a 10 minute dinghy ride. With the pdf versions of the documents filled out, we are in and out of C&I in 4 minutes and ready to enjoy the nicest harbor town in the Virgins.

This exercise is simple - you clear in and out of the BVIs captain on
Y, Jost Van Dyke is easiest, and clear in at Cruz Bay with all crew for the USVI. We do it 6+ times per year. Our friends Far Cry and Zanshin do it more frequently. Really, no issue.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 05-08-2016, 20:41   #56
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Re: Customs Requirements Going from BVI to USVI Anchorages

Rick G,

Thank you for the heads up. Yep, we have been sailing the BVI for 32 years , and it is good to see that things have changed at Cruise Bay.
Honestly, I had no idea that it had been that long ago. The years just seem to all blend in.

That one experience turned us off ever going back to St. Johns. I read your post to Erica and we are very happy that there are easy customs, and peaceful mooring areas and time has marched on in a good way.

Funny, as to the depths you mentioned, our keel would also be snug in the mud, as well. We draw about six and a half feet, so with a bit of investigation we can find moorings that will work out so as not to become a bottom plow.


We have continued to hear about St. Johns as over the years and how special it is.


This next sailing the BVI will be in 2017, and Anegada will be part of our itinerary, St. Johns, the trip after that. Really is amazing at how many new adventures that the Virgin Islands hold for all of us.

Just a quick story, after our first sailing vacation to the BVI, I was super excited. I had finally made it to the Caribbean. A few months later I was working our sailing club booth at the Lido in the water boat show and a fellah came up. We started talking and sharing BVI stories.

He told me he had sailed the BVI 5 times. Well, I thought that was one heck of a lot of sailing vacations in the same place. He was right on, our next trip will be # 15, with more in the future. May, we never tire of the BVI.

Thanks again for the good news update on St Johns for us old sailing folks.

Denny and Erica

Life is an adventure and if you can make a living at what ever passion that you have, the passage through life is going to be fantastic every day.
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