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Old 12-01-2015, 17:04   #16
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

Strictly speaking, I am not a lawyer, it is illegal to sail from US to Cuba regardless of citizenship. The fine can be $5000 per passenger and confiscation of your boat, no returns.


That said, our fickle government very loosely enforces this law. Almost to the point of nonenforcement. I know, and have heard of, many sailors making the trip with US registered boats and crew. A good piece of advice on the water and lots of other places is to do what seems reasonable and don't wave your rights under the noses of the enforcement folks.
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Old 12-01-2015, 17:44   #17
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

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Originally Posted by AlwaysFORSAIL View Post
Strictly speaking, I am not a lawyer, it is illegal to sail from US to Cuba regardless of citizenship. The fine can be $5000 per passenger and confiscation of your boat, no returns.


That said, our fickle government very loosely enforces this law. Almost to the point of nonenforcement. I know, and have heard of, many sailors making the trip with US registered boats and crew. A good piece of advice on the water and lots of other places is to do what seems reasonable and don't wave your rights under the noses of the enforcement folks.
2 problems with your post..

1. We are talking about sailing from Cuba to the USA, not the other way around.

2. You are quite frankly wrong. There are many posts on this site with the exact laws quoted. Do some searching and you will find them. Fact is, the USA cannot create laws that are enforceable on other citizens, think about it. They can definately deny access to thier country, but they have no power to enforce thier laws on other people. I have spoke to US customs multiple times on this and there is absolutely no law that prevents non-citizens from travelling from Cuba to the USA. However, if a customs agent wants to make life tough, they have a million other ways of doing it. So you are correct about waving your rights under thier noses. Be respectfull and follow their orders to the letter.
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Old 12-01-2015, 18:04   #18
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

Actually the OP said Alabama to Cuba and then back to Florida.
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Old 12-01-2015, 18:59   #19
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

Opps sorry.. I stand corrected...
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Old 12-01-2015, 20:06   #20
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

Thanks everyone for your posts. The message seems to be that it is possible but that one should proceed with caution when returning to the US, especially S. Florida.
Thanks again, and I'll post if I do the trip. That is if I have access to the internet in jail!
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Old 12-01-2015, 22:07   #21
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

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I'm sailing from Cuba to Florida in April (Canadian on a Canadian flagged boat). I have asked a lot of people the same question. The answers I got, was always "I heard/read you can be hassled" and never "Damn, they gave me a real hard time". In fact the 4 people I spoke with that had done the trip, said "no problems". Let me know if you ever find someone who actually got hassled (not their friend).

For me, I will be heading up to the Fort Myers area and skipping the keys as that is where the boat needs to end up. I will definitely report my experience back here.
I personally know several who were hassled clearing in in SE FL.
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Old 12-01-2015, 22:10   #22
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

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I personally know several who were hassled clearing in in SE FL.
Could you convince them to come here and post their stories? What ports, how long ago, ect.. I think the more solid first hand experience we can get, the better..
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Old 13-01-2015, 10:33   #23
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Could you convince them to come here and post their stories? What ports, how long ago, ect.. I think the more solid first hand experience we can get, the better..
Unfortunately I dont have their email addresses.
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Old 13-01-2015, 11:58   #24
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Re: NZ registered, sail Alabama - Cuba - Florida? Possible?

Look at it this way.

Any vessel entering any domestic port from an international departure has to clear Customs and immigration. If the vessel is wanting to stay in IE the US it must be "landed and declared" according to US import laws. I know of a number of sailboats that have never been released from Customs as import duties were never paid and the boat never left. It depends on the customs assessment on declaration the laws and the future of the vessel.

Then there is the issue of PAX on board. US citizens can enter the US after they establish their citizenship. Any other nationality is subject to the policies in force at that time and location and the Florida area is under stress from Cuba as is the border between Mexico. If one has a passport that is covered by the Visa waiver program that citizen will be given a 90 day visa on the spot as long as they are departing within the 90 days.

Problems? If you give a Customs Officer problems they can give you problems. Just don't try and do anything stupid and I am not a member of Customs. Just obey the law and ignorance is not an excuse. So you are doing the right thing in research. Also you can ask Customs yourself.
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