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Old 06-11-2010, 16:20   #16
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Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
I really don't think they are that organised outside of Papeete. (Not saying Papeete are all that organised!) Next time I go I think I'll use the $100 Agent if I can find him. I won't check in prior to Papeete. I really don't think there was anyone taking notice of me from the time I landed in Hiva Oha all through the Touamotus or Papeete.
Sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness rather than approval.
When you arrive in the Marquesas, they just snail mail your paperwork to Papeete for your official clearing in later. You are correct that nobody is really overtly monitoring you in the Marquesas & Tuamotus, but when you finally do clear in, they will ask you "did you make landfall prior?", and if you say no then you'll need to explain how it took you 6-8 weeks to transit from your clearing out in the Galapagos - to Papeete (and possibly to explain that picture of your boat in Daniels Bay that the Gendarme took & forwarded during his bi-weekly mail runs.).
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Old 06-11-2010, 16:54   #17
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We sure as hell didn't have the required $3,800 smackers sitting in the bank and got bounced. And we left immediately! (after about a week... or so... )

Perhaps thopse intended on going there may care to ask before leaving civilization and taking said advice of French Govt letterhead wiv 'em.

The thing I dislike intensly is that one must act illegally at some point! Either a false declaration of air ticket or whatever, plus an illegal stop in Fatu Hiva before Hiva Oa. No one in their right mind wants to backtrack upwind to fatu Hiva after a 3200 mile leg.
How wrong you are. Last year I sailed the 3200 miles to get to the Marquesas. I used Laurent at Polynesian Yacht Services as an agent and they were AWESOME!! The have a rep in Hiva Oa so we went there first. Had NO hassles at all and used their bond waiver service. It cost $90 to use them and saved more than that in duty free fuel by the time we left French Polynesia.
Maybe I wasn't "in my right mind" but the 30 mile "slog" back to Fatu Hiva was the easiest sail and Fatu Hiva was one of the OUTSTANDING highlights of the whole pacific trip. If you are going this route do NOT miss it but do it legally. The Gendarmes trolled through Fatu Hiva twice while I was in the area and fine every illegal boat $200.
Like everything else while out cruising....if you do your homework you don't get yourself in a position where "one must act illegally at some point" and you don't spend a week in one of the most beautiful places on earth when you could have spent 3 months!
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Old 06-11-2010, 19:47   #18
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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
When you arrive in the Marquesas, they just snail mail your paperwork to Papeete for your official clearing in later. You are correct that nobody is really overtly monitoring you in the Marquesas & Tuamotus, but when you finally do clear in, they will ask you "did you make landfall prior?", and if you say no then you'll need to explain how it took you 6-8 weeks to transit from your clearing out in the Galapagos - to Papeete (and possibly to explain that picture of your boat in Daniels Bay that the Gendarme took & forwarded during his bi-weekly mail runs.).
Yes that's what they did with my clearing in at Hiva Oha. Posted it to Papeete. They are trusting of their mail service. I found the Gendarerie friendly and helpful. If they have the photo of the boat a "...... i was really tired and just needed to anchor and sleep" or ".... i have had this intermittent engine trouble and needed to check it out etc etc."
So what's your story Aussiesuede? Obviously have done the coconut run.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:46   #19
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I used Laurent at Polynesian Yacht Services as an agent and they were AWESOME!! The have a rep in Hiva Oa so we went there first.

the 30 mile "slog" back to Fatu Hiva was the easiest sail and Fatu Hiva was one of the OUTSTANDING highlights of the whole pacific trip. If you are going this route do NOT miss it but do it legally.

Good information. Thanks for that.

That seems the best way to do it then.

We certainly didnt hear about an agent to do if for $90. The police didn't offer it up under careful questioning by us.


www.polynesia-yacht-services.com/

1) First contract (Minimum services including all formalities)
Official clearances : 8.000 Cfp per clearance ( In, inter islands, departure)
Bond exemption letter: 9.000 Cfp per passport
Duty free fuel formalities 9.000 Cfp once
Visa extension (up to 90 days) 7.000 Cfp per passport

8,000 cfp = USD $94.5 So about $300 to clear in one boat with a couple on board. Beats $3,800 bond
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:05   #20
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Another alternative is to use the services of an agent. I used Francesco of Tahiti Yacht Agency ...
Thanks Pete.

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Old 14-11-2010, 12:42   #21
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We used Francesco of Tahiti Yacht Agency and the $100 was well worth it. Email Francesco before departing for FP (find his email address on the Puddlejump website). Although Francesco is in Papeete, he registers your information with customs in which ever port of entry you start at (Hiva Oa for us). Check in when you arrive and they'll have you listed. With Francesco being in Papeete, you cannot get duty free fuel until Papeete. There was one other agent service (again on the Puddlejump site) that was more like $500, but had reps in Hiva Oa, allowing you to get fuel there.

Noosite is helpful, but not always correct; and "normally exempt" may result in a quick boot from FP. There was a bond exemption for boats participating in the 2009 season puddle jump, but there no longer is an exemption. This year there were boats checked by the French customs in Fatu Hiva, Nuka Hiva, and Papeete. The anecdotal information is that the French customs (gendarme) doesn't have forgiveness in their vocabulary.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:40   #22
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

Hey guys - Thank you for the information in this thread! I'll be crewing on a vessel arriving in Hiva Oa in late April or early May and have been educating myself on the entry requirements. It's nice to learn that the bond exemption service exists and that there are multiple providers, especially after some of the stories I've read regarding being stuck with CFP francs!
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Old 26-03-2015, 01:01   #23
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
I really don't think they are that organised outside of Papeete. (Not saying Papeete are all that organised!) Next time I go I think I'll use the $100 Agent if I can find him. I won't check in prior to Papeete. I really don't think there was anyone taking notice of me from the time I landed in Hiva Oha all through the Touamotus or Papeete.
Sometimes it is better to ask for forgiveness rather than approval.
They aren't quite as disorganized as all that.

We were witness to an incident where a crew left one yacht for another in the Tuamotus. This was reported legitimately, but the second yacht had not cleared in to FP legally.

When they tried to clear into Papeete it came back to haunt them, as the Gendarmes were aware of the crew shift and therefore the presence of the uncleared boat. I believe they were not allowed to stay in FP, but I do not know the final outcome for sure.
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Old 26-03-2015, 07:32   #24
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

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Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
They aren't quite as disorganized as all that.

We were witness to an incident where a crew left one yacht for another in the Tuamotus. This was reported legitimately, but the second yacht had not cleared in to FP legally.

When they tried to clear into Papeete it came back to haunt them, as the Gendarmes were aware of the crew shift and therefore the presence of the uncleared boat. I believe they were not allowed to stay in FP, but I do not know the final outcome for sure.
My last experience in FP was back in 2006. Anyone got current experiences re clearing into FP?
Touamotus are very special. You all know God lives in Bora Bora.....by choice.
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how long has this been going on and why wasn't I told about it earlier.....
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Old 26-03-2015, 07:59   #25
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pirate Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
My last experience in FP was back in 2006. Anyone got current experiences re clearing into FP?
Touamotus are very special. You all know God lives in Bora Bora.....by choice.
Nuku Hiva.. 2012
Arrived late Friday.. office was closed till Monday.. had a nice w/end wandering round and listening to Ukeleli jam sessions at the jetty eateries..
Monday morning cleared in & out in advance at the w/end.. with next port named as American Samoa..
Being a 'Brit' no bond requested so this may not be much help..
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:50   #26
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

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Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
My last experience in FP was back in 2006. Anyone got current experiences re clearing into FP?
Touamotus are very special. You all know God lives in Bora Bora.....by choice.
If I were god I'd pick Fakarava over Bora Bora 10 times out of 10!

We cleared in last May (2014).

Again, we we arrived on Saturday, the office was closed on Monday. We were working with the PPJ so contacted the subagent (Kevin), he walked us over to the Gendarmes Monday AM and we checked in. Very easy, but our paperwork for the bond was done by the agency well in advance.
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Old 26-03-2015, 18:06   #27
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

Will be checking in at the end of May and will update this thread with the current requirements. I'm getting off the boat at Hiva Oa (owner's family flying in), so I can't use the bond exemption service. Contacted PYS and they said they only deal with the vessel owners/captains. Captain had something from the PPJ folks saying that only crew staying on the vessel the entire time it is in French Polynesia can be covered.

Looks like I'll be looking for a refundable plane ticket or paying the bond.

One thing I did learn was that if you go the plane ticket route, if the ticket is not to your country of residence, you need to have tickets for the next two destinations:

Quote:
Every visitor to French Polynesia must have a return airline ticket to their resident country or to at least two more continuing destinations and sufficient funds to support themselves while in French Polynesia.
That's from the AirTahitiNui website entry requirements page.

As a US citizen, it looks like the best thing to get is a fully refundable open ticket to Honolulu. That or two onward tickets going to Auckland then Sydney, which is about the same price but more hassle with two tickets.
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Old 28-05-2015, 20:48   #28
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

Checked in at Hiva Oa successfully without having to post a bond. Provided the gendam a printed email that contained my airline ticket information, and he looked at it for a few seconds, verified it had the word "confirmed", and stamped me in. The gendam processed about 5 boats in 45 minutes, they were fast and efficient.

The ticket was a fully refundable/changeable ticket issued from a mariner specific travel agency. Already changed it to something more useful.
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Old 19-06-2015, 13:50   #29
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Re: Circumventing the French Polynesian Bond ?

So are any of you guys in Atuona right now? (Lordgeoff? perhaps). My cousin just arrived 2 days ago from Ensenada, Mexico but non of us have heard anything from him. His AIS still showing as being anchored in Atuona bay. Boat is a classic Colombia 50, white hull, "Sagacious". Any news would be appreciated.
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