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Old 04-06-2012, 08:29   #1
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No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

We got stolen on our arrival in brazil, money, creditcards, passport and other personal items. Because of the circunstances we have not clear in or out of Brazil and now we are heading Trinidad where I am hopping I will be able to process the new copy of my passport. We are very worry because we do not know what are the legal implications of arriving in Trinidad in our conditions, and I MUST get my passport there or I will get in more trouble. Does anybody know what can happend if you arrive in Trinidad with no clearence from previous country taking into account that we can back up our story? On our way to Trinidad we must stop in French Guayana(iles du salut) and maybe in Guayana, does anybody recomend us to stop in eather country to try to get the clearance from there before arriving to Trinidad?

I will appreciate any information, or advice,

Thank you,

Davinia
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:31   #2
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Re: NO CLEARANCE, NO PASSPORT & GOING TO TRINIDAD

go first to your nearest consulate. they can help you.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:42   #3
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Re: NO CLEARANCE, NO PASSPORT & GOING TO TRINIDAD

Guess it is too late now, but you really should have taken care of this in Brazil before you left. How did you arrive in Brazil and not clear in? You say your papers were stolen in Brazil but yet you did not clear customs when you arrived?

These seems very odd. How did you arrive, boat or air?

If you had cleared in Brazil you could at least show you arrived legally and maybe have an easier time to get new papers. Once you arrive in Trinidad you have no legal standing at all. They will probably question why you left the previous country with no documents.

Any chance you can return to Brazil to sort this out?

Another suggestions, what is your citizenship? There are islands in the Caribbean that are Dutch, French, British. If you are one of these nationalities it might be easier to go there instead of Trinidad.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:36   #4
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Re: NO CLEARANCE, NO PASSPORT & GOING TO TRINIDAD

Hi Rust, thanks for your fast reply to my email. I know it was very stupid to not clear in Brasil, but now its too late for that. We arrived by boat from spain. I am spanish but I do not have any documentation to get in any country even if is from the European Union. There is also not many spanish embassies arround the caribbean and it is very important I manage to get my passport from Trinidad...The reason why we didnt clear out is because we did not have money and we though since we could not pay for our stay in Brazil they will not let the boat to leave the country...

We do not want to complicate the matters more but at the moment I feel a bit lost, do you have anyother suggestion?
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:08   #5
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Re: NO CLEARANCE, NO PASSPORT & GOING TO TRINIDAD

best bet would be to stop in french guyana,being a french terretory it is considered part of the european union for which you as a spanish national do not need travel documents.
plus you will get a much better reception there from french immigration when you explain your problem than in trinidad,who can be difficult even when you do have passports!!
best bet is karoo or cayenne.

maybe also tell the french authoraties,your passports and clearence were stolen after leaving brazil,during a brief stop in the amazon delta
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:21   #6
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Re: NO CLEARANCE, NO PASSPORT & GOING TO TRINIDAD

I go along with Atoll's suggestion. Since there are no countries in the Caribbean that are Spanish territories your best bet is to go to a country that is a territory of another EU country. I think one of the French Islands will be the easiest to deal with. The Dutch tend to be much more serious about proper paperwork.

Also, as Atoll mentions, Trinidad does not have a reputation as the easiest country for customs and immigration issues. Again try a French country and the closest for you coming from Brazil would be French Guyana. Not sure if Spain has a consulate there but there will certainly be some office representing Spanish interests in Guyana where you can go to apply for new passports.

Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:15   #7
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

It appears that Spain has consulates in Trinidad-and-Tobago, Jamaica, and the DR.

But also one embassy and five other cosulates in Brazil. From what I've heard, if you skipped town owing dockage or mooring bills, the Brazilians take this seriously, as they should. In theory, your vessel could be arrested and held wherever it makes landfall. And the crew. So wherever you check in, if they check back with Brazil, you may find serious complications. (Or does Trinidad have no extradition treaty with Brazil? Is that why you are adamant about landing there?) I would suggest contacting your embassy (or consulate) while still at sea and trying to get some advice from them as soon as possible.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:30   #8
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

The whole story is not clear
And I suppose the French customs will find it not clear at all also
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:33   #9
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

Contact your consulate in Trinidad in advance of your arrival. Explain your situation. They will support you on arrival.

Please post your report on Noonsite when you find a moment - it will be useful to many sailors looking for relevant information on Brazil.

Good luck,
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:45   #10
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

If you are French then a stopover at French Guyana may help. Contact French embassy in Guyana and ask their help.

If you are not French, think twice before stopping at French Guyana - make sure you will be in the position to explain things to their authorities.

If I were in a similar situation to yours, I think I would make my landfall in a country where I expected most support from my embassy and where I were sure to communicate with all officers in a clear manner, preferably in my own language.

Wherever you land, you will need all police reports from Brazil with you and a proof that you have already requested new documents from your state. Carry some sort of id and a copy of your ship registration - someone ashore can fax these to your landfall place. I believe these are bare minimum.


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Old 06-06-2012, 12:14   #11
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To state the obvious, it was foolish to leave brazil without sorting out what would be a common and easy problem.

To enter Trinidad with the story you present here will be a huge problem. They are uncompromising on issues like this and you will be lucky if you don't end up with your boat impounded and in jail while it gets sorted. And if it turns out that you were trying to get out of brazil with your boat for reasons such as escaping the 100% import duty for vessels that exceeded the two year stay, which is the most common cause for people to come into trinidad with an excuse similar to yours, then you will be in serious trouble.

I would highly recommend attempting to clear into a French or dutch island and seeking consular assistance as part of your clearance procedures. Trinidad will not allow consular assistance until after they have processed you.

Good luck.

Edit: just an FYI...I had a boat in brazil for two years and left just last year. I am very suspicious of anyone who dodged immigration, customs, and port authority with this type of excuse as having boat papers and passport stolen... It would not be a rare event, even if uncommon, and assisting you to process and recover all of this would be well within the remit of most authorities. And additionally leaving because you "couldn't pay"? Couldn't pay what? And if you couldn't pay due to credit cards being stolen, this is also easily remidied in a short period of time. The questions I am asking are the same ones the authorities in Trinidad will start with...
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:35   #12
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

Sorry Davinia, I'd like to be sympathetic but there are too many silly things you've done. You either went sailing without enough funds or you overstayed your welcome and ended up broke. If you really had your documents stolen, the local authorities would give you supporting paperwork to use while you get replacements, I have had that happen to me, not a problem. My advice is to sail back to Spain, non-stop and don't go sailing again until you are prepared to do so in a manner that does not harm matters for sailors coming after you. Dodgy actions are the reason that we all have to post bond money and are restricted to limited cruising permits.
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Old 06-06-2012, 14:10   #13
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Umm, where are you connecting to the internet right now? That might be a good place to start sorting out your issues since you are already there...
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Old 06-06-2012, 14:19   #14
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

French Guyana was very laid back when we went there. The Gendarme maritime stopped next to us anchored in the Kourou river. "Please take down the yellow flag, you cant clear in here and we don't care" I went to the customs office with all my documents and explained that we would have to have some proof of our stay for arrival in Trinidad. The woman there said "Write a letter and I will sign it" Finally when we got to Trinidad, they asked "Previous port" we told them and all they said was "So, (tchoops) no papers then huh?" (tchoops is the sound made by sucking ones teeth)
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Old 06-06-2012, 14:44   #15
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Re: No Clearance, No Passport & Going to Trinidad

Davinia, are you the owner of the yacht and why is it so important that you get a new passport in Trinidad?

Why don't you contact the Spanish Embassy in Salvador for advice, they seem to be the nearest to you. There job is to help people like you and issue you with a new passport and help with the other problems.

Spanish Consulate in Salvador, Brazil
Consulate of Spain in Salvador, Brazil
Rua Marechal Floriano, 21 (Cinnamon)
40110010
City: Salvador
Phone: +55-71-3369055/+55-71-3361937/+55-71-3373112/+55-71-99683567
Fax: +55-71-3360266
Email: consesp.sbahia@correo.mae.es
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