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Old 31-05-2015, 16:12   #31
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Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

I'm confused about the VAT.

I do understand the permit pricing. Stu has the right take on it. Expect to pay more, be happy with less. From all reports it appears they've backed off the increase for now.

I've never sailed my US flagged boat to the Bahamas, where I'm a citizen. I'm not really sure what to expect but will certainly have my stacks of money ready. Most likely $150 since mine is the same as wsmurdoch's boat Irish Eyes. I don't think my citizenship offers me any advantage, or rather the boat is treated as its own entity. But I can work down there, which I may do at some point. I guess I'd have to import the boat and pay tax. The cruising fee doesn't appear to allow for any year round presence.


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Old 31-05-2015, 16:37   #32
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Quote:
.

I've never sailed my US flagged boat to the Bahamas, where I'm a citizen. I'm not really sure what to expect but
You are a Bahamian Citizen?
Should not be a problem then: you know the locals, you know who to talk to. Heck, just put the local flag up, you are coming home.
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Old 31-05-2015, 16:45   #33
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Isn't the cruising permit still good for year? I thought the 90 day thing was like one free re-entry within 90 days or something like that. Did they change it to a three month permit?
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Old 31-05-2015, 16:52   #34
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

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Isn't the cruising permit still good for year? I thought the 90 day thing was like one free re-entry within 90 days or something like that. Did they change it to a three month permit?
You are right. The permit is still for one year, and you can exit and return within 90 days (once).

I haven't checked in since the VAT was implemented, but don't believe that has any bearing on the cruising permit fee. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm already bummed that my rum is going to be a fair bit more expensive.

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Old 31-05-2015, 17:11   #35
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

How does VAT affect a border entry?


I'm used to VAT meaning "Value Added Tax" on what are generally manufacturing processes. That is, I buy ten yards of silk for $30, make it into a sari and sell it for $100, and there's a value added of $70 which is what the VAT is charged on, when the sari is sold, to an appropriate buyer and venue.


Or I buy $50,000 worth of aluminum and fiberglass and other bits, build a boat out of them and sell it for $150,000. In which case there's VAT on the $100k of added value.


But crossing a border in tourism?? Really? There's no transaction there to be "VAT-ed" in any usual sense. But then again, I don't speak Bahamian.
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Old 31-05-2015, 18:19   #36
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

VAT is charged by the Governments that I have dealt with is on the full selling price.
In manufacturing, the tax may be deferred to the builder, and is passed on to you.
In Canada taxes are imposed on services also: as in lawyers fees, dry cleaners, accountants, etc... etc...but not on food, save junk food, and I think pharmaceuticals and children's clothing.

The Bahamian import taxes seem to be very elastic in nature in my venturing there for over 30 years. Some would say at the discretion of ... as " I have not been blessed in a while" (sic).

So you want to import an old van that you have rebuilt from top to bottom, save the paint, in order to save on duty. So they may charge you for that plus seeing as you bought it in Texas, so you will pay duty on the gas, the hotels and all expenses that incurred as well as ferrying it to say: Marsh Harbour.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:22   #37
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

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How does VAT affect a border entry?


I'm used to VAT meaning "Value Added Tax" on what are generally manufacturing processes. That is, I buy ten yards of silk for $30, make it into a sari and sell it for $100, and there's a value added of $70 which is what the VAT is charged on, when the sari is sold, to an appropriate buyer and venue.


Or I buy $50,000 worth of aluminum and fiberglass and other bits, build a boat out of them and sell it for $150,000. In which case there's VAT on the $100k of added value.


But crossing a border in tourism?? Really? There's no transaction there to be "VAT-ed" in any usual sense. But then again, I don't speak Bahamian.
I went through some of the same arguments you present tne last time the whole VAT thing was being hotly debated here in the Turks and Caicos Islands. After reading up on what the pro and anti VAT elements here were saying, I finally realized that they don't really know anything about Value Added Tax, because basically nobody manufactures anything in either the Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos. It's just another type of tax, and they like that. Tapping into the financial flow of visitors is how they live. It's taxation without representation at it's finest.

Living and playing in these islands as a foreigner is similar in many ways to being one of the only naked people in a gymnasium full of hungry mosquitos.

Or perhaps more like being one of the cattle maintained by certain African tribes. They don't kill and eat the cattle, but keep them alive drain as much blood off of them to consume as they can get away with.

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Old 01-06-2015, 10:53   #38
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Canibul-
Right. But I feel like someone said "Well, we've got to charge you income tax if you come visit here." To which I say, but I've got no income. And then they say "Yeah, but you are come in to this country, in come tax, come in tax, all the same to me."


It could be a translation error (I told Geo. Washington and Ben Franklin that allowing the English to keep speaking our common tongue was a mistake!) or it could be more bs, like "We're out of receipts." Out of receipts? What, little gray men came down in the night and abducted all the pencils and paper? No one knows how to write in longhand anymore, "I...received...from...for the purposes of...on this date..." and sign it?
Or they've got a powerful receipt-writers union, and no one else is allowed to compose receipts, or the union goes on strike?


I'm so easily baffled....But Mom raised me to be polite. I always remember to yell "GRENADE!" before I toss one in. Gentlemen always give fair warning.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:48   #39
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

We checked in this year after vat was implemented. No vat on the $300. Just $300. I was intrigued as to how vat would be implemented in the family islands as many businesses don't even have a cash register. Apparently businesses under a certain dollar amount annually are exempt.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:37   #40
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Rick-
So you mean, the VAT is actually being charged on the fee that the business is collecting for the government? And that "collection" is being treated as a business activity and an added value to something "manufactured" by the business, which then is simply passing it back to the buyer, like any other VAT transaction?


Is that a usual application of VAT in the rest of the world, i.e. to departure fees and entry fees and landing fees??
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:39   #41
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Here in Canada they even charge vat on postage stamps!! (when it was introduced it was called GST initially, a goods and service tax but it is essentially a VAT. Now they've rolled it into the provincial sales tax here in Ontario.

hellosailor, don't understand your comment re Bahamas VAT.
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Old 04-06-2015, 16:12   #42
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

Rick-
Since VAT is usually charge on the "increase" of some value, typically the increased value as stuff is transformed from raw goods into a finished product, I could see that by some incredible stretch of the imagination, a bureaucrat could say "Well, you collected these fees and remitted them to us. So you've performed a service of value, for which you will be paid, and since you've provided a value-added service, we're going to put a value-added tax on it.


Never heard of VAT being imposed on bureaucratic (or any other) service that way though. Can I charge our IRS a handling fee, for providing my tax information to them? Can I charge the Bahamian government a VAT fee, since I'll be enriching the value of their port and everything else by increasing the occupancy rate there?


Only seems fare, to me.(G)


Wait, I filled out the form using my own pen. I added INK to their paper. Surely, I'm entitled to collect VAT on that improvement?
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Old 04-06-2015, 16:21   #43
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

I think they just use VAT as a label for a general tax. Pretty sure I saw it used that way this winter while in SE Asia. But I don't know jack about VAT, living in the U.S. I had no idea it's purpose is at times to assess improvements on raw materials, though the name implies such.


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Old 19-06-2015, 11:27   #44
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

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Ok, so some folks have paid $150.00 to check in under 35', others $300.00. Conflicting results make this thread less than helpful. I just sent an email to Bahamas Customs. We'll see if I get a speedy answer, and I'll share the results.

Ralph
It's been a few weeks since I sent the email to customs@bahamas.gov.bs , asking for a solid answer regarding fees to check in with a boat less than 35'. No answer back. Maybe they want to keep us guessing, and allow their officials do their own thing where ever they happen to be?

Raindog (a member here) is crossing to Bimini, or did yesterday. https://raindogps34.wordpress.com/ I'll give Erika a shout and see what they were charged.

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Old 19-06-2015, 12:07   #45
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Re: Cruising Permit Fee For Bahamas

... met Cati and Johannes from "Maverick too" (www.zu-zweit-auf-see.de | Schon wieder ein WordPress-Blog) earlier this week in Lyford Cay. They paid $ 150,- for their 33.2ft boat when they entered the Bahamas (in George Town, Exumas) end of May.

Where VAT is charged is in fact often strange ... We got new batteries for the house bank for the ship I am working on in March, with the cruising permit no customs fees had to be paid but VAT was charged on the invoice price (we double-checked with 'the authorities' and they confirmed that this is how it should be done) even that we are Cayman flagged. No way to claim it back ....

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Carsten
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