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Old 07-03-2013, 09:01   #16
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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Honestly, almost every time I've used LBO I've had to go to the office anyway for something or another. Last time, it was because one of our party had renewed their passport... So you go through all the lengthy phone reporting for everyone on board, including the new passport information, and then at the end they tell you that you have to come in to the office anyway... For this reason I'm not using the SVRP, it seems like just another way to find some detail that makes you report in person. pete
Last time I came in, even with the decal, they had us come to the Customs office at the Port of Miami after our telephone check in. I've never really understood how that really accomplishes anything. Like if we had smuggled some drugs or aliens in with us, that we would have brought them with us to show them.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:32   #17
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When we cleared at jeckle island, GA May 2012, clearing was a 5 minute phone call. Same thing in Port Orange,FL. back in spring 2911. Last few times we cleared in Charleston, SC DHS came to the boat but were very friendly and no hassle. It seems like the procedure is not consistent from area to area.
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Old 08-03-2013, 20:43   #18
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

Last I recall, clearing in north of Fort Pierce is different from clearing in in Fort Pierce and south.
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Old 08-03-2013, 20:56   #19
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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It seems like the procedure is not consistent from area to area.
It's not consistent on purpose ... it keeps you on your toes and guessing. Sometime they let you go on your word, sometime they will select you for in person inspection, or in-depth shakeout.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:27   #20
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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Last I recall, clearing in north of Fort Pierce is different from clearing in in Fort Pierce and south.
Exactly that, although many on CF can't live with it for some reason, but this thread shows proof again. Don't enter the US in south FL.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:43   #21
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

I cross the US border a dozen times a year, by car, by plane, and by boat. I tell you ... do not look for any patterns. There is a human element involved ... mostly your demeanor and attitude, but for most part if you already have a record with DHS, the DHS system directs the officer on the course of action they need to take with you. There could be a regional increase in security (So FL is close to Cuba) but for most part it is algorithm driven.

Last year, they asked me out of the blue for a passport I had used last time 5 years ago when crossing the US border coming from Europe ... I am a dual citizen residing in the third country. Go figure!
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:34   #22
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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I cross the US border a dozen times a year, by car, by plane, and by boat. I tell you ... do not look for any patterns. There is a human element involved ... mostly your demeanor and attitude, but for most part if you already have a record with DHS, the DHS system directs the officer on the course of action they need to take with you. There could be a regional increase in security (So FL is close to Cuba) but for most part it is algorithm driven.

Last year, they asked me out of the blue for a passport I had used last time 5 years ago when crossing the US border coming from Europe ... I am a dual citizen residing in the third country. Go figure!
We used to do wiretaps of drug smugglers, and would hear them tell a smuggler to use Lane 3, Lane 5 at a particular checkpoint. At first we thought it meant they had someone on their payroll there, and then we figured out they had surveillance on the checkpoints. They would watch through binoculars, for the inspectors that looked like they didn't give a danm, and then call their couriers and tell them to go through that inspector's lane.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:37   #23
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

We used the decal system and called in on our approach to Lauderdale from Bimini in 2011. Still needed to go to the ICE office in Port Everglades to check in in-person. The office is not easily accessed by boaters. We needed to keep the taxi running or I doubt we would have got back easily. The whole process was a joke!! We were there for about 2 minutes. Nobody seemed to care too much. And they would have had no idea whether there were just the two of us that reported or several (illegal) passengers as well. IMO a totally pointless exercise. Since it can only work assuming honest participants, why make honest people go through the extra hassle??
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:02   #24
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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The whole process was a joke!! We were there for about 2 minutes. Nobody seemed to care too much. And they would have had no idea whether there were just the two of us that reported or several (illegal) passengers as well. IMO a totally pointless exercise. Since it can only work assuming honest participants, why make honest people go through the extra hassle??
Looks to me that the process worked as intended ... it kept you on your toes, and you will not know what to expect the next time.

Where can I get the "honest person" certification? Is it recognized by border services of any country? If it would not be for this seemingly random and pointless exercises, it would be an open border, which it isn't.

Even across Europe, where the borders are open, the customs/border equivalent officials can stop anybody anywhere for the inspection ... I am not even sure if they need a cause.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:27   #25
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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Where can I get the "honest person" certification? Is it recognized by border services of any country?
I have it. It is a sticker in my passport and says I'm good to enter the USA for the next 10 years. Got checked out by FBI, CIA and Homeland Security and an interviewer at an US embassy
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:29   #26
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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They would watch through binoculars, for the inspectors that looked like they didn't give a danm, and then call their couriers and tell them to go through that inspector's lane.
That is the factor too ... especially on Canadian border ... the day/time of crossing can make the difference as well ...

I cross border often using the same crossings, the people there already recognize me ... it does not make a difference. They are more friendly/talkative but the overall process is the same, the particulars are never the same. The last time I had a shakeout on the US border, the officer was almost annoyed by what had showed up on his system screen before he directed me to that "special area".
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:34   #27
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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I have it. It is a sticker in my passport and says I'm good to enter the USA for the next 10 years. Got checked out by FBI, CIA and Homeland Security and an interviewer at an US embassy
A one of the trusted traveler programs ... that streamlines the entry to US but does not guarantee that you are the honest person (although I suspect you are) and beyond scrutiny and inspection. Good to have one ... saves time and headache.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:16   #28
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

The CBP are not to be messed with. There is a really scary culture throughout the organisation. As a foreigner the consequences of upsetting them are much more severe, but I think as a US citizen you can still get in a heap of trouble if you do things wrong and encounter a severe officer (not unlikely).

I was given information several times by officers that was later considered to be wrong by other officers (about needing original rather than copy documents prior to the issue of a cruising permit). It got me into trouble with threats of boat seizure by one officer and huge fines and deportation by another. Really horrid. All finally smoothed over thanks to one intelligent officer who had common sense and worked through the muddle of rules that absolutely no one understood fully. Just take care and get advice in writing if it isn't clear. A phone note with an officer's name won't cut the mustard.
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Old 03-03-2014, 15:23   #29
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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We used to do wiretaps of drug smugglers, and would hear them tell a smuggler to use Lane 3, Lane 5 at a particular checkpoint. At first we thought it meant they had someone on their payroll there, and then we figured out they had surveillance on the checkpoints. They would watch through binoculars, for the inspectors that looked like they didn't give a danm, and then call their couriers and tell them to go through that inspector's lane.

What does a inspector who does not give a damn look like?
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Old 03-03-2014, 15:27   #30
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Re: Question about re-entering the US from the Bahamas

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What does a inspector who does not give a damn look like?
looks mostly "average"
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