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Old 05-06-2010, 06:44   #1
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eSeaClear - Easy Clearing in the Caribbean

http://www.eseaclear.com

Check out this website. You can clear in and out of some of the islands by just filling out a form online, when complete you will get a PAN ID you take along to customs. The basic information for boat and crew only has to be entered once and you just add the arrival and departure info for the participating islands (below).

Anguilla" "Aruba" "British Virgin Islands" "Dominica" "Netherlands Antilles" "Saint Kitts and Nevis""Saint Lucia" "Saint Vincent and the Grenadines"

Try it out!
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Old 05-06-2010, 17:47   #2
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This system has been around for several years already and to date I have not heard any reports from small recreational cruisers of anybody using it - or - it making any difference in the procedures. It would be nice however, if the officials did actually utilize the system.
- - Two things to note: from the final sentence in the "eSeaclear" webpage "However, it does not replace clearing in and out of Customs.""
-
- and then there is Immigration - - which is not even mentioned. The only reports of actual use I have seen had the cruisers having to do all the regular paperwork anyway - with or without "eSearclear." But those reportts are over a year old.
- - Has anybody actually used the sytstem recently? - this year?
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:27   #3
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I saw the poster advertising the system three weeks ago when clearing into the BVI in Spanish Town and asked about it. They stated that they did, indeed, have it implemented. I think it would save entering information in 1 of 3 forms required to clear in.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:56   #4
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The customs official here in St Lucia printed out three copies. He said one was for him, one was for immigration, one for myself. I did not fill out any form at all in the office. I was told by the customs officer to spread the word and cruisers were not using it.

I can let all know next week about the process in the Grenadines.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:01   #5
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Quote:
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http://www.eseaclear.com

Check out this website. You can clear in and out of some of the islands by just filling out a form online, when complete you will get a PAN ID you take along to customs. The basic information for boat and crew only has to be entered once and you just add the arrival and departure info for the participating islands (below).

Anguilla" "Aruba" "British Virgin Islands" "Dominica" "Netherlands Antilles" "Saint Kitts and Nevis""Saint Lucia" "Saint Vincent and the Grenadines"

Try it out!
We tried to use the system last March. It only worked (very well) in St. Lucia. It did NOT work in Dominica (they said the system was down) or Bequia (SVG) where they told us they didn't even have the proper PC's or software yet. Unfortunately Antigua, Guadeloupe end Martinique are not even on the list where it is supposed to work. Looking at the (waste) of time filling in all the data in advance I cannot recommend it. As a back-up we had preprinted crew lists which did help us some.
Funny thing is when you try to give some feedback via their website (mail address) all mail is returned as undeliverable (have tried it more than once). For now I have given up.
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Old 06-06-2010, 20:05   #6
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The French Islands are not part of the system. They have their own computerized check-in/out which is the best I have encountered so far in the Caribbean. You sit in a store or cafe and use the French computer to enter your information and a printed form spits out. The shop-keeper stamps it and you are done. No money, no fuss, quite nice since they are installing the computers in just about every little dent and harbor (at least in Martinique).
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:38   #7
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The French Islands are not part of the system. They have their own computerized check-in/out which is the best I have encountered so far in the Caribbean. You sit in a store or cafe and use the French computer to enter your information and a printed form spits out. The shop-keeper stamps it and you are done. No money, no fuss, quite nice since they are installing the computers in just about every little dent and harbor (at least in Martinique).
We did like the French system; problem is finding the right spot. We read (Chris Doyle site) about Deshay in Guadeloupe and found the place and cleared in and out without any problem. Martinique was another matter, we did find the (closed) customs office but found no one who could direct us to the correct internet office. When we found it it was closed and we had to leave without even clearing in. Lucky for us the customs and immigration in St. Lucia understood our ordeal when we could not show them clearance documents from Martinique. With an 'oh the French' they happily printed forms using EasyClear and cleared us in and out without any fuss; this was by far our best experience. We did inform Sunsail of the correct restaurant in St. Pierre and hope fellow travelers will find the place without the problems we had.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:18   #8
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The French island common system also lets you fill in your form once and then use a USB-Stick to upload the form when clearing in/out, all you need to do is change the non-static information. But once you get past the complexities of a French Keyboard and recall that "British Virgin Islands" is "Iles vierge Angleterre" the form is quickly filled. And at least they don't want to know how many outboard engines you have and how many GPS units are aboard (as they do in Antigua)
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:20   #9
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It is quite true that the French are still very laisez faire about the whole check-in/out system. Prior to the computers you could spend days trying to find a Customs/Immig official. Now with the D-I-Y computers in local shops/cafe's there is the new problem of finding the shop/cafe and then having said shop/cafe be "open for business." The French tend to be late risers and "long lunch'ers" which really restricts the hours you can get access to the computer. But nobody gets really upset if it takes a day or two to find an available computer.
- - From Fort-de-France south to Marin we stopped at all the "Anses" along the way and saw computers in each little bay. So it is no longer necessary to stop at the major "historical" check-in/out places - but - until Chris Doyle and others get updates in place there really isn't any listing of where the computers are and where they are not. But that's all part of the Adventure of cruising - and of course, the extra stops are justified by needing to restock your French baguette supply.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:11   #10
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SigmaSailor - was last March 2009 or 2010?
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:44   #11
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SigmaSailor - was last March 2009 or 2010?
Last March was this year (2010).

Have to agree with not minding looking around for C&I on Martinique; they have the best shops with the nicest products we found during our trip.

Allthough we really like the Grenadines we were disappointed by the unprofessional and rude way C&I handled us (maybe I shouldn't have referred to the policy statement in their office after some arguments about tax (I believe it was 200 EC extra for a charter boat) about their supposedly friendly and professional approach towards their customers; heck, I am Dutch and always open my mouth without putting brain in gear first).
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Old 07-06-2010, 14:23   #12
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I always love to stop at Bequia - SVG but the officials there are noted for their less than enthusiastic and sometimes down right obnoxious handing of visiting cruisers. There are two separate windows/counters - one for Customs and another for Immigration. After finishing with Customs (they are always first) you have to take the papers to the next window at Immigration. If the official is not there (out for lunch or other personal reason) you have to come back the following day. That gets infuriating when you are trying to continue on down/up island. And even worse it is not consistent, one official will say come back tomorrow and a different official will say - don't worry, I'll give them the paper tomorrow.
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Old 09-06-2010, 15:36   #13
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Well here we are in Bequia, and eSeaClear worked just fine. Just to reiterate 'MY Experience' - you fill in the information about your boat one time. You fill out the information regarding your crew one time. When you are ready to check into the next island you answer about a dozen questions and you are done. Keep the PAN ID (verification number) and give it to the customs official. Many islands have a separate immigration and customs handed me a copy of my form that they had printed out to give to them.

Something to always keep in mind when cruising, you are a guest in their country. Always start all conversation with a few pleasentries and your experience will be better.
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Old 12-06-2010, 14:03   #14
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...Something to always keep in mind when cruising, you are a guest in their country. Always start all conversation with a few pleasentries and your experience will be better.
Excellent advice, Janice.

In the eastern Caribbean, walking up to the counter and launching right into a statement of what you need or want to accomplish is considered rude, and brands you as a tourist. As Janice says, a few pleasantries and a smile will work wonders.
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Old 20-06-2010, 08:07   #15
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Two or three years ago the FBI and US Homeland Security wanted all the Caribbean cruisers to fill out Advance Passenger Information forms similar to the airlines, even though the vast majority would never visit the US.
Almost all the caribbean governments were bullied into passing the legislation (except Trinidad and the FWI I believe), but the resulting backlash from cruisers and the consequences of losing a valuable industry (as has happened in the USVI), persuaded the Caribbean governments to scrap the scheme, although the legislation is still in place to resurrect it.
Soon after, following more US intervention, eSeaClear was introduced.
Just where do you think all that online data may end-up?
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