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Old 27-06-2014, 17:02   #1
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St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

St Vincent and grenadines customs and coast guard told me last week that they did Not honor the yellow flag for free passage in their waters and any vessel that has not checked in will be fined 5000.00ec. We just sailed right past them on the way back north. Please be advised


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Old 27-06-2014, 18:13   #2
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

The yellow flag is a request for Pratique, i.e I need to clear in.
Pratique - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 28-06-2014, 08:54   #3
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

Paul L. is correct and by flying the "Q" Flag you are signaling Officials that you want to check into the country. The "Q" Flag is not a "Free Pass" to avoid immigration or customs.

Normally, if you do not make landfall or anchor, the countries will allow you to pass, even if you are technically in their territorial waters. The key is to be moving thru the territorial waters, not stopping for any reason and maintaining a reasonable distance from shore.

The minute you drop an anchor, pull into a marina, stop for fuel or parts, provision, or try to discharge or accept passengers you are required to check in to that country.
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Old 28-06-2014, 09:06   #4
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Originally Posted by justjohn View Post
St Vincent and grenadines customs and coast guard told me last week that they did Not honor the yellow flag for free passage in their waters and any vessel that has not checked in will be fined 5000.00ec. We just sailed right past them on the way back north. Please be advised


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Does this mean we cannot sail through the SVG territorial waters without clearing in and out?

How far out from SVG must we sail from St Lucia to Grenada?

Thanks for the warning Justjohn.
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Old 28-06-2014, 09:17   #5
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Does this mean we cannot sail through the SVG territorial waters without clearing in and out?

How far out from SVG must we sail from St Lucia to Grenada?

Thanks for the warning Justjohn.
Not at all. You are free to transit the waters on your way to the next country. Just like other places, you aren't free to stop and anchor and then move on without clearing -- even though it is often done, doesn't make it legal.
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Old 28-06-2014, 12:56   #6
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St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

The yellow flag is a request for inspection, clearance and a signal that you are disease free. In most Caribbean countries it is common to fly the yellow if you are resting and not going on their soil. And it is not illegal. According to them if they catch you in there waters without clearance after passing the first clearance port you will be fined. No more costal cruising and resting. You have to pay to run there waters. That is what I was told last week when I was clearing in.


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Old 28-06-2014, 13:02   #7
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Does this mean we cannot sail through the SVG territorial waters without clearing in and out?



How far out from SVG must we sail from St Lucia to Grenada?



Thanks for the warning Justjohn.

12 NM is the end of territorial waters.



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Old 28-06-2014, 13:05   #8
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Paul L. is correct and by flying the "Q" Flag you are signaling Officials that you want to check into the country. The "Q" Flag is not a "Free Pass" to avoid immigration or customs.

Normally, if you do not make landfall or anchor, the countries will allow you to pass, even if you are technically in their territorial waters. The key is to be moving thru the territorial waters, not stopping for any reason and maintaining a reasonable distance from shore.

The minute you drop an anchor, pull into a marina, stop for fuel or parts, provision, or try to discharge or accept passengers you are required to check in to that country.

Free passage if they choose not to board and clear your vessel.



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Old 28-06-2014, 14:58   #9
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

Just to clarify, were you wishing to stop or anchor in their territorial waters without checking in? Or were you simply wishing to sail past them through their offshore territorial water limits?

The former has always been illegal (you would be arrested in the US, for example), the later is accepted practice everywhere we have been.

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Old 28-06-2014, 15:07   #10
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Just to clarify, were you wishing to stop or anchor in their territorial waters without checking in? Or were you simply wishing to sail past them through their offshore territorial water limits?

The former has always been illegal (you would be arrested in the US, for example), the later is accepted practice everywhere we have been.

Mark
Yes, my experience was the same in the Lesser Antilles.

The exception was Martinique, where I've anchored to spend the night (without going ashore) three times when doing a quick passage up or down the islands. Once, the Douane boat circled me. I waved, they waved, and then sped off.
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:10   #11
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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In most Caribbean countries it is common to fly the yellow if you are resting and not going on their soil. And it is not illegal.
A common practice by foreigners does not make a country's law. And stopping without checking in, regardless if you don't leave the boat, most certainly is illegal - check the clearance laws for those countries.

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Old 28-06-2014, 15:12   #12
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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The exception was Martinique, where I've anchored to spend the night (without going ashore) three times when doing a quick passage up or down the islands. Once, the Douane boat circled me. I waved, they waved, and then sped off.
Yes, the French islands are very relaxed about their laws.

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Old 28-06-2014, 17:20   #13
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

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Yes, the French islands are very relaxed about their laws.

Mark
Oh no! They are relaxed about paperwork and ridiculous routines but do not try to import drugs or otherwise break the law.

What I find ridiculous is being charged 65$ECD extra because I filled entry forms at 12:55 instead of 13:00 hours. Wow I should have known it was lunch hour for them. SVG is already the most expensive country to clear into.

And for this you get... well no dinghy dock no, not much police or Coast Guard protection no, free access to the country? no not really you will be charged to use the marine park. It would seem high time that
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Old 28-06-2014, 17:35   #14
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

[QUOTE=SaltyTanned;1574094..... SVG is already the most expensive country to clear into.
...[/QUOTE]
Not by a long shot. Have you cleared into Panama, Colombia, Galapogos or had to apply for a US visa.
I personally don't see what the attraction to SVG is.
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Old 28-06-2014, 19:12   #15
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Re: St Vincent and grenadines yellow flag

I have in my hand a copy of " The law of the sea ", It sez that you do have the " right of innocent passage " and no signals are required as long as it is an innocent passage and no fishing or commercial activities or actions detrimental to the coastal state . Passage is not innocent if any action is taken that is prejudicial to public policy .
Years ago we would sometimes fly code flag "peter " which sez you are doing the action under protest for safety and/or security reasons .
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