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Old 27-06-2017, 21:31   #1
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Cook Islands Customs Advice

Hey guys and girls. We're in Raiatea, French Polynesia and we've had a shroud fitting fail on us. Can't find the right part here but the local metalworkers have done a temporary fix for us. The problem is, French Polynesian Customs is really expensive if I want to order the right part from the states (a sta-lock terminal for 3/8 wire with a toggle and a 5/8 pin, or the equivalent from any other manufacturer). I can make it to the Cooks I think, and Niue, and Tonga. Where should I get the new part sent to?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 27-06-2017, 21:42   #2
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

We had a diamond stay that needed to be replaced in Bora Bora.

We just took the stay off the boat and shipped it by ferry to Papeete where they duplicated it and sent it back to us. They put swages on both ends of the new wire and it worked out fine.
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Old 27-06-2017, 23:17   #3
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

I don't know about Raiatea, but in Noumea, you go to Customs first, and get permission to ship it in duty free for a yacht in Transit. Then you have to go to a special place to pick it up. This service may be available in Papeete. Someone already there could check for you. Check the HF radio net schedule, and see if someone will/can give it a go for you. It will help if you write out a letter in French explaining everything, so if you get tongue tied talking you can still explain.

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Old 27-06-2017, 23:17   #4
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

If you are willing to travel as far as Tonga, then consider American Samoa. You get USPS shipping in something like a week.
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Old 28-06-2017, 00:32   #5
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

I had to get a new autopilot ram to Papeete. A friend of mine flew in as a tourist with it in a duffle bag. He simply walked through the 'nothing to declare' line.
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Old 28-06-2017, 02:21   #6
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

Quote:
There should be no duty, or tax, on spare parts for ship in transit. Seems like perhaps you have obtained the wrong info. Check again, take someone who speaks French...
"It should be....", but must be arranged beforehand.

It can be arranged, as I posted above, in New Caledonia by our own experience, but the French Overseas Territories arrange it differently than NZ.

You have to go through Customs in advance, in order to do it duty free. That service may or may not be available in Raiatea, but more likely in Papeete, on Tahiti, if it isn't in Raiatea. If you do not go through Customs beforehand, you will pay the ordinary 100% duty they have on all imports.

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Old 28-06-2017, 20:10   #7
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

Thanks everyone. Yes you are all right in that it is possible to arrange duty free imports for yachts in transit but it's such a bureaucratic nightmare if you are not in Tahiti that it's not worth it........ and we're not willing to backtrack upwind to Tahiti. Unfortunately our friends have all been to visit and left again so that's not an option, and US territories (such as American Samoa) are a pain for non-US boats (US authorities always all sorts of bits of paper and certifications for everything, USCG-approved, plus holding tanks etc. etc. etc.)

I think we're going to go with getting it sent to Rarotonga. My partner (who is much better with interwebbery than me) has found some info that seems to suggest that the way things work in Raro are:

- you pay duty based on the value of the goods. The percentage payment depends on the nature of the goods.
- you pay VAT which is calculated at 12.5% on the value of the goods, plus the freight charges.

Maybe this will be of some use to others in a similar predicament in future.

Incidentally, sta-lock USA are horrified by the failure we have experienced and have agreed to replace the part free of charge and make things as easy for us as possible. apparently it is a first for one of their parts. That gives me a bit more faith in the rest of the rig (which was new 2 1/2 years ago).
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Old 29-06-2017, 16:24   #8
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

What? Did one of the Sta-Loks break? not the wire? Good Grief!

What actually happened?

Thanks in advance for the fill.

Ann
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:15   #9
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
What? Did one of the Sta-Loks break? not the wire? Good Grief!

What actually happened?

Thanks in advance for the fill.

Ann
Yes, one side of a toggle fitting at the top end (the mast end) of a 3/8" lower shroud failed in about 12 knots of wind, close reaching. Made a bit of a bang. Fitting only 3 years old and only installed 2 1/2 years ago, along with the rest of the standing rigging.

The response from sta-lock has been very encouraging however. Apparently this is the first time they have ever had a failure of this type (which restores much of my faith in the rest of the rig). The rigging supply company I bought the fitting from has apologised profusely, agree that this never should have happened and have worked closely with me to make things as easy as possible, couriering a new fitting out postage-paid to Rarotonga. When it arrives I will update this thread with details of the process of the importation incase it might be of use to someone else in the future.

In the meantime we've managed to sail successfully to Raro from Raiatea. Fortunately the wind was on the good side for all but 6 hours of the passage, so we didn't have to test out the welding job that the guys in Raiatea did, nor the dyneema backup shroud :-)
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:12   #10
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Re: Cook Islands Customs Advice

Be ready for anything--I recall that the customs fee in one of the South Pacific island groups was based on the shipping cost.
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