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Old 19-06-2012, 06:16   #1
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2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

We are currently in the Galapagos and about to take off to the Marquesas. There is quite a bit of conflicting info on noonsite and other sources about the entry requirements, specifically the need for the famous bond. Some say it must be cash, others say a credit card is fine, others again say that if you are there less than a month it is not necessary, an agent can remove the hassle of the bond but charges over $2k, etc.

What is the latest, hard info from a cruiser (non-EU, non-puddle jumper) who has been there THIS YEAR, 2012?

Please don't divert to season timing, suggestions to marry a European woman or any other useless rubbish.
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Old 23-06-2012, 00:46   #2
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Try
S/V Soggy Paws - CSY 44 - Circumnavigate with Dave and Sherry McCampbell

They have an ongoing account.
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Old 01-07-2012, 17:28   #3
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

We entered French Polynesia in May 2012 at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. We didn't use an agent and are one Aussie (ie. Non-EU passport) and one British passport, so were required to pay one bond. After checking in with the Gendarmes, that included completing a form for customs that we then had to post to Papeete, Tahiti, we were directed to the local bank (Socredo) to pay the bond for me. We paid the bond using credit card at the bank. In fact I don't think we were given an option of paying it in cash. The bank provided us with all sorts of copies of documents as well as the credit card slip that we will need when we recover the bond. The credit card payment is treated as a cash advance so make sure you have put your card in credit before you pay the bond or pay off your card as soon as you have paid the bond, to minimise the interest you will be charged on your card. Once we had paid the bond at the bank we then had to go back to the gendarmerie to get my passport stamped. All in all it wasn't too painful. We will recover the bond either here in Papeete or in Bora Bora (not sure yet), and from what we've heard we will receive the bond back in cash - French Polynesian Francs - and our credit card company will charge us a processing fee. It probably would have been worth us using an agent as it turns out, not so much for the bond stuff, but because agents are worth their weight in gold when it comes to importing boat parts and dealing with customs.

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:35   #4
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Thanks for the information.

How much was the bond?

Cheers
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:55   #5
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

123,000 French Pacific Francs (XPF) plus commission of 2,963 XPF
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Old 02-07-2012, 14:11   #6
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

And one assumes you will lose some further percent on the currency conversions, as the XPF charge /vs/ AU$ to your credit card, and then lose it again a second time when they convert back from AU$ to XPF to give you your "refund".

A nice racket for the money changers.
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Old 02-07-2012, 15:11   #7
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I hope someone post's the agent fee for you. I did not use an agent the last two times but it seems I have heard numbers more like $250 us as opposed to 2k for agent fees. A possible advantage to the agent besides the bond is you can get duty free fuel before Papeete. You can get the bond back in the currency of your choice as long as they have it. Typically they will have us, au, nz and euros.
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Old 02-07-2012, 16:20   #8
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Hi Catspaws,

Thanks for the quick response. The 3000 commission set me back until I did the conversion rate :-) Iam EU so no worries over the bond for me, the Mrs is Thai so she will have to pay. ( Maybe she will be nice if I tell her how much she is worth) So that would be a air ticket to Thailand.) Not happy about the Visa trick. Maybe better for an agent ?
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Old 02-07-2012, 16:39   #9
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Just looked up the cost of a ticket from French Poly to Thailand. Bloody Nora!! $3000+ That is some deposit so maybe for us a broker would be the best way to go!
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Old 02-07-2012, 17:06   #10
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
And one assumes you will lose some further percent on the currency conversions, as the XPF charge /vs/ AU$ to your credit card, and then lose it again a second time when they convert back from AU$ to XPF to give you your "refund".

A nice racket for the money changers.
Well, unless the FX moves your way, no?

Hard not to lose some as to most banks FP ccy is sort of like a very exotic option, hence the spreads.

BTW we found bank services horrible in FP. Avoid if you can.

b.
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Old 02-07-2012, 22:33   #11
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

oh, I forgot to say that we've heard that you can only get the refund back in cash (XPF), but until we try it wont really know. We figue we'll just try to spend it on fuel and other things we need although probably wont be able to spend much of it if we check out from Bora Bora.

We didn't have any trouble with FP anks so far. In fact people we have dealt with everywhere have been incredibly helpful. Bureacracies are the same the world over....you just have to have patience.

We figure that it is all worth it to be able to spend some time in such a beautiful part of the world.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:11   #12
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Thanks for the replies!

Unfortunately, we left before I could read them and now here we are in Papeete.

In the end, we cleared in at Hiva Oa and presented them with airline tickets which we organised over the internet while there. They had to be open tickets which were valid from the date of presentation at the police station. Since we never ended up paying for the tickets (travel agent mates are handy!), it worked out fine.

One of the crew had a "fixed date" ticket from Papeete to the USA, a real ticket which he WILL use, and that was unacceptable. The airline ticket must be open from the date of arrival.

The bond bullshit was unacceptable to us.

Anyway, it all worked out fine...
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Old 02-04-2013, 16:36   #13
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

Hi
Just been reading this loop and am wondering if you don't have to pay a bond if you have a UK passport?

Cheers

Ross
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Old 02-04-2013, 16:53   #14
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Re: 2012 Formalities for entry into French Polynesia

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Originally Posted by Moose Greenwood View Post
Hi
Just been reading this loop and am wondering if you don't have to pay a bond if you have a UK passport?

Cheers

Ross
no bond on uk or any eu passport
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