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Old 18-04-2016, 12:11   #16
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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...I don't gather that many island countries are going to jam you up for flying a yellow flag or anchoring overnight...
In general, you are probably right. But in specific, it won't really matter if you happen to run into the one C&I official who has had a bad day and decides he is going to rigidly and strictly enforce the rules.

"Innocent passage" does not apply, as it only has to do with passing through, or stopping because of an emergency. And before someone mentions it--as they always do when "innocent passage" comes up--poor planning that results in you running out of food, or being really tired is not an "emergency," it is just "poor planning."
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Old 18-04-2016, 12:33   #17
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

I think it's becoming more and more common for countries to expect anyone entering their territorial water to check in at the first available opportunity. Obviously enforcement can vary.

When I was passing through the T&Cs I was hailed 10 miles out and told I had clear in and out which I did at the same time. The big factor I think was they wanted the income.
I know for a while many were being turned back on the Little Bahama bank for not clearing in at West End. Even years ago I was scolded for re-enteirng the U.S. and not calling custom's and immigration for half an hour or so, even though I had no cell phone and no means to call any earlier than that.
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:27   #18
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

I like Mark J's standard, because it is the most realistic for wherever you go. Plus, it shows respect for the host country. They may not care very much in the Caribbean, but most people wherever you go will appreciate that you respect their rules. Now that it has become popular to charge entry fees, they have another reason to want you to clear in.

When getting permission to clear in in the morning, give them a reason to allow you to do so. In one case, I heard the skipper say that he couldn't come to the clearance dock now because it was after dark, and the nav lights had just failed. He refused, but told them he would fly the Q flag AND NOT GO ASHORE. Similarly, we have requested and received permission to anchor overnight and have done so, always with the Q flag and always not going ashore.

It's just plain wrong to go ashore before you're cleared. What you do when you're doing that is training yourselves to be set yourselves above local laws--not exactly being a good will ambassador-- and in some countries, will get you bounced; in others, you risk jail and confiscation of your boat.

The "Q" actually stands for Quarantine, and lots of places want to confiscate items they don't want introduced to their ecosystems, as well as human diseases, which was the original reason, I think, for Quarantine.

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Old 18-04-2016, 15:36   #19
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

Every country has different rules. Trini wants you at their dock and with the flag up. Others dont have a dock for customs. I don't find MarkJ's note realistic at all for much of the Caribe anyway. If you arrive and customs isn't open, I doubt if it is illegal to anchor with the yellow flag up. That means you are "under quarantine" until cleared in. I have done so many times. Come into an anchorage late in the day, you don't have much choice. most Customs people are ok, you could always run into an ass though.




Noonsite:“Regardless of the country visited, or the kind of government in power there, formalities should always be taken seriously and even what look like illogical restrictions should always be complied with. Moreover, however lax or strict a country may be known to be, entry formalities must be completed as soon as possible, and the intention to do so must be indicated as soon as one enters that country’s territorial waters by flying the Q flag and contacting the relevant authorities by radio.”





Vessels entering the BVI should
proceed directly to a port of entry. Because jetty space is limited, vessels are allowed to anchor in the harbour before making their Customs entry. You may not proceed to a marina until you have cleared your yacht unless you are using a Ship’s Agent.No one may go ashore if you arrive after hours. You must raise your yellow flag. Permission may be sought in advance from Customs and Immigration for a late arrival by calling one of the ports of entry.


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Old 18-04-2016, 15:47   #20
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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I wonder more about naming your next destination but showing up somewhere else. I think this would be a bigger no-no. Or just as big no-no. Or am I wrong?
Not talking about emergency situation change of plans either.
I don't think turning up somewhere else is a problem... either stopping short when out of rum or carrying on to the next continent because you have a commanding breeze.

Ships are always getting a 'change of orders', in fact tankers loading in the Persian Gulf for northern Europe would often have LEFO as a destination - Lands End for Orders - and end up discharging anywhere from Ireland to Finland.

Q flag? Strictly speaking means 'my ship is healthy and I request free pratique' .. these days taken to mean that plus a request for clearance......
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Old 18-04-2016, 22:16   #21
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

We've done it a few times, arrive late, take off the next morning, in places like Dominica. It's pretty island specific. If you did that in USVI or BVI or Antigua they would be more officious. I wouldn't go ashore unless intending to clear in though. As an example, Dominica has no patrol boats, the customs officer is pretty lax and more likely to be snoozing with his feet in his desk than scouring the anchorage for yachts with q flags and then trying to figure out a way to get out to the yacht to check their intentions. Time between clearing might also be an issue, although last time we departed Martinique and arrived at Antigua 4 days later there was no issue, but there could have been.. I think Martinique allows 48 hrs between clearing out and departing so it was ok...just. St Vincent and Grenada also allow 48 hrs from memory. The customs patrol visits anchorages in Antigua regularly making sure yachts have cleared, as it's common for frenchies to sail up from Guadeloupe for a few days and not check in. Last one spent a few days in the Antigua jail with his crew.
St Lucia also patrol the anchorage every morning to check you have cleared in. The French island tend to be more interested in French flagged boats and are often checking those by patrol boat or helicopter. Mainly to check vat status etc. they rarely visit foreign flagged boats. So yes it's situation specific, and if you think it's morally wrong to drop the hook or pick up a buoy for a few hours shuteye before being on your way in the morning, then the alternative is, drop the hook, get some sleep, drop the dinghy, go find customs, fill in some forms, pay some $, check in and out at the same time, return, hoist dinghy and set sail a couple of hours later than you would have otherwise, then it might be best to do that so save your guilty conscience.
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Old 18-04-2016, 23:24   #22
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

It"s pretty common in places like the eastern Carib. Doesn't make it legal and in many countriesin other areas you get in a heap of trouble if caught. As noted above, common sense on the issue makes sense.
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Old 19-04-2016, 02:51   #23
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

All

Many thanks for the replies. At least I'm clear now that it is illegal even if it's practised quite widely in the Caribbean!

I always thought that was the case, but I've met so many people over the years who talk casually about doing it I had started to wonder.
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Old 19-04-2016, 06:03   #24
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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I always thought that was the case, but I've met so many people over the years who talk casually about doing it I had started to wonder.
Especially on the internet, you will find that a whole lot of people are quite happy to suggest that others should violate the law. Why not? They're not the ones who are going to spend time in a third-world rat-hole, or have their boat confiscated, if things don't work out. Good to keep that in mind the next time someone tells you that it's no problem to ignore some country's laws.
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Old 19-04-2016, 06:49   #25
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

And no one mentioned ' entering under protest ", code flag " P ".
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Old 19-04-2016, 17:14   #26
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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And no one mentioned ' entering under protest ", code flag " P ".
That's a new one on me. Care to expand on it?
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Old 19-04-2016, 17:41   #27
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
In general, you are probably right. But in specific, it won't really matter if you happen to run into the one C&I official who has had a bad day and decides he is going to rigidly and strictly enforce the rules.

"Innocent passage" does not apply, as it only has to do with passing through, or stopping because of an emergency. And before someone mentions it--as they always do when "innocent passage" comes up--poor planning that results in you running out of food, or being really tired is not an "emergency," it is just "poor planning."
Yeah, but that damn diesel that quit running (oh is that fuel valve shut off?) would be an emergency.
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Old 20-04-2016, 09:34   #28
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Re: Yellow "flagging"

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Yeah, but that damn diesel that quit running (oh is that fuel valve shut off?) would be an emergency.
No, that would be stupidity.

If you want to deliberately break the law, and try to come up with some sort of excuse that you hope the C&I officials will be gullible enough to swallow, that's your business. I would not be recommending it to others.
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