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Old 29-04-2010, 14:06   #1
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What if You Can't Pay the Bond in French Polynesia ?

I have read that in some islands they attempt to charge you money to be refunded when you leave. What happens if you dont have that much money, or refuse to pay?

Would it be better to not check in, and if they question you, say you just arrived?
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:21   #2
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Only if you'd like to spend some time in a foreign jail.
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Old 29-04-2010, 15:56   #3
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French Polynesia is one of those places I believe. If you fail to check in there, you can be SURE that the customs peeps know you have arrived and after giving you a little slack, will come down on you like a ton of bricks. I understand that there are ways of making it less onerous, which someone may be able to explain. I just paid up for the one non-EU member of my crew and collected the money when we cleared out.

P.
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Old 29-04-2010, 16:25   #4
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Go to the Australs . No banks there, thus no bond.They give you three months.
If you leave from the Marquesas, they give you back your money in Tahiti francs, useless anywhere outside French Polynesia. Some scam!
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Old 29-04-2010, 16:32   #5
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Brent is correct about the refund in French Pacific Francs but if I remember correctly you can still go to some of the other islands Bora Bora etc after so you have the chance to use the money (fuel) not to mention New Caledonia. The Jails are not like home so suggest you check in. French Polynesia is one of the highlights of cruising the Pacific so dont be put off.
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:45   #6
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So assuming I arrive in the marquesas, but do not have enough money for the bond, would I just have to leave? If you go to jail there, how long would you have to spend in jail, after that would you get to stay (jail time pays for bond?)

I don't understand the point of the bond if they are going to refund you. It would be easier for everyone if they didn't do it. Its obviously a scam so they can rip you off and force you to have way too much of their currency. I also don't understand how the french turned into nazis.

I will have to try to go for the islands which do not have the bond requirement... any good places in addition to Australs?
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:51   #7
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Have you looked at what it costs foreigners to get visas to get into the US? The bond in FP is only for non-EU people. It guarantees that if you end up in the country illegally, there is enough money to fly you back to where you came. If you violate the immigration and custom laws, they are free to confiscate your boat, just like in any other country. If you show up without enough for a bond, I'm sure they will give you a very short visa and then tell you to get the hell out of their country, SVP. Seems reasonable.

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Old 29-04-2010, 17:56   #8
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Firstly please do not accuse anyone of being a Nazi you obviously no nothing about that period, I do from close family experience.
The $ value of the bond is the return air fare to the country who issued your passport. Once you arrive they do not want to have to pay for your air fare when they throw you out after you have tried out there jail which you seem very keen on visiting. I would suggest a change in attitude maybe your first priority.
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Old 29-04-2010, 17:59   #9
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sorry guys, im with gecko, 3g's is a bit steep, and why the heck would they need to fly us home, we can just sail home...
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:04   #10
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sorry guys, im with gecko, 3g's is a bit steep, and why the heck would they need to fly us home, we can just sail home...
If a crew member leaves the boat. If you put the boat on a reef in the Tuamotos. If you get sick. .....

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Old 29-04-2010, 18:08   #11
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ok the boat on the reef thing is a good point
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:17   #12
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I'm not saying I like or agree with the bond, but with the attitude of original poster it doesn't surprise me that they see the need for it.

Also, I don't see a lot of cry to reduce the costs and burdens of getting Visas to enter US.

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Old 29-04-2010, 18:20   #13
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So assuming I arrive in the marquesas, but do not have enough money for the bond, would I just have to leave? If you go to jail there, how long would you have to spend in jail, after that would you get to stay (jail time pays for bond?)

I don't understand the point of the bond if they are going to refund you. It would be easier for everyone if they didn't do it. Its obviously a scam so they can rip you off and force you to have way too much of their currency. I also don't understand how the french turned into nazis.

I will have to try to go for the islands which do not have the bond requirement... any good places in addition to Australs?
G'Day Gecko,

I am beginning to think that you have a seriously bad idea about foreign cruising. When we sail to another country, we are bound by their laws and customs, not ours. Circumventing or disobeying those laws not only puts you at considerable risk of punishment, but also casts a pall over all of the cruisers who follow in your wake. You would do us a disservice to follow your plan. As example, the very reason that the French have the bond requirement was because of too many folks showing up in "paradise" without visas or funds and then just staying, freeloading on the system. The bond, while a nuisance to us cruisers for sure, is to be sure that they can repatriate overstayers without it costing the French to do so. To describe this process as "nazism" is way off base.

If the idea of getting your refund in Pacific Francs turns you off, there are other means of satisfying the bond issue. One is to have a (refundable) open air ticket back to the states. Once out of FP, it can then be returned and your funds restored in the currency in which you purchased it.

Finally, don't think for a minute that in any of the wonderful third world island groups you might visit you can just come and go without checking in properly. It's easy to think that when anchored off some remote village the locals are not aware of the requirements for clearance, and that they don't communicate with the authorities in the "big smoke". They can and do let Customs and Quarantine know of your presence, as a few yotties have learned to their sorrow. And, once you get crossways with Customs anywhere, your name and boat name go into a file in something called the "Captain Cook program". This is an international data base that all the small nations are hooked into. Once you are on that list as a bad guy, you will be subjected to especial consideration every time you go through customs... anywhere! This is not a good thing!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Towlers Bay, NSW Oz
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Old 29-04-2010, 18:26   #14
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Like it or not, entering another country's borders is an honor not a right for a foreign citizen. The country gets to bestow that privilege on whomever they please or refuse for any reason they decide and they also can make up any laws they want. It's their country.

PS - Jim Cate - I think we were typing at the same time
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Old 29-04-2010, 19:04   #15
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While I agree cruisers should be sensitive to the local laws and customs, the bond does seem burdensome, especially considering the experience of some who have had to wait 6 weeks or more for the refund. That refund coming in local currency is an economic decision to encourage more local spending I would guess.

There is a way to avoid the bond, by joining the puddle jump sponsored by Latitude 38 each year in March or April, leaving from Mexico's left coast and arriving to much hoopla and partying. Lat 38 has negotiated a waiving of the bond for participants. I'm not sure, but it may have already occurred for this year.
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