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Old 15-07-2007, 15:29   #1
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Question Foreign flag pleasure boat cruising in the US

I am a UK national and hope to be sailing a South African registered cat to the US next yr. I will not be the owner of the cat but will be the master.

If my understanding of the rules is correct because the cat is South African registered I will not be able to obtain a cruising license. Consequently I will need to clear in and out of each port I visit and pay a navigation fee.

If for example I wish to cruise round the Chesapeake bay for a couple of months what are the implications for the clearing in and clearing out process, some days I may only wish to sail a few miles further along the coast ?

Any guidance would be appreciated
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Old 15-07-2007, 17:31   #2
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Contacts

If you drill around on that web site, I know I've seen the regulations posted. Since these are the people who will enforce them--they are the ONLY source to get real answers from. If you can't find them on the web site, email or write to them, get the reply "in writing" so there is no confusion when you get here.

Note that rules often change on the first of the year--make sure to let them know WHEN you will be planning to come.

If all else fails, stick a tall Jihadi with a kidney dialysis machine and a camel on the bow. Apparently that make you invisible, they haven't been able to find one in six years of looking.
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Old 15-07-2007, 18:41   #3
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I don't know if this is the information that hellosailor is referring to, but try:

Answer

Click on Pleasure Boats at the bottom of the page. I extracted the following from the Word Document that the Pleasure Boats link will take you to:

"FOREIGN-FLAG PLEASURE BOATS. The master of a foreign-flag or undocumented foreign pleasure boat must report its arrival to U.S. Customs immediately and must make formal vessel entry (see section that follows on cruising licenses) on a CF 1300 within 48 hours. In the absence of a cruising license, vessels in this category must obtain a permit before proceeding to each subsequent U.S. port.

Navigation fees will be charged for the formal entry, the permit to proceed, and for the clearance of foreign-flag pleasure boats. It is not necessary for foreign-flag vessels making formal entry and operating under a cruising license to acquire a $25 user fee decal.

The master of every foreign-flagged vessel arriving in the U.S. and required to make entry must have a complete legible manifest consisting of Customs Forms (CF) 1300 through 1304 and a passenger list.[1]

Pleasure boats from foreign countries must obtain clearance before leaving a port or place in the U.S. and proceeding to a foreign port or place or for another port or place in the U.S."

[1]19 CFR 4.7

It may well be that you have already read this information, as your post seemed to accurately summarize the essential elements.

TaoJones
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Old 15-07-2007, 19:12   #4
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"(see section that follows on cruising licenses) "
Watson, the game's afoot! The hunt is on!

But I still think a Jihadi on the foredeck would be cheaper and simpler. I wonder if camels get seasick?
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Old 15-07-2007, 19:26   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
"(see section that follows on cruising licenses) "
Watson, the game's afoot! The hunt is on!

But I still think a Jihadi on the foredeck would be cheaper and simpler. I wonder if camels get seasick?
I don't think South Africa has a reciprocal agreement with the US, hellosailor, so they aren't on the list; as I read it, only vessels from countries on the list are eligible for a cruising permit.

I've seen a camel spit some nasty stuff - I can only imagine what a seasick camel would hork up.

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Old 15-07-2007, 22:52   #6
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I have never heard that vessels from South Africa can't obtain crusing permits in the USA. If it was me, when I arrived in Puerto Rico, I would go to Fajardo and pick up a USA cruising permit from US customs that is good for one year. That cruising permit will allow you to cruise Puerto Rico, and it will still be valid when you arrive in the USA. It will expire one year from the time that you recieved it in Puerto Rico.

So you should already have your cruising permit when you arrive in the continental USA.

If you stay longer than one year in the USA, and your cruising permit expires, you will have to surrender your boat documents to customs when you arrive in a new customs district. Then when you leave that customs district, you go back to the customs office and recieve a permit to proceed to the next port in the next customs district. The permit to proceed costs around USD $37. When you get to the next port, you surrender your boat documents to the customs officer until you are ready to leave again. Then you will pay another $37 and be given a permission to proceed to the next customs district.

That's the way it worked for us last year when we were crusing the east coast in a foreign flagged vessel. I assume that things haven't changed in the past couple of months.

By the way, when you arrive in the Caribbean, stop in Barbados to get your USA visa. UK nationals cannot enter the USA by sea without a visa ahead of time. If you fly into the USA, the US will give UK nationals a visa in the airport, but if you come in by sea, you are in trouble if you don't have a visa ahead of time. I know this to be true because I met some British catamaran sailors who spent $1500 flying to Barabados to get a USA visa so they could proceed to the USA by sea.

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Old 16-07-2007, 07:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout
By the way, when you arrive in the Caribbean, stop in Barbados to get your USA visa. UK nationals cannot enter the USA by sea without a visa ahead of time. If you fly into the USA, the US will give UK nationals a visa in the airport, but if you come in by sea, you are in trouble if you don't have a visa ahead of time. I know this to be true because I met some British catamaran sailors who spent $1500 flying to Barabados to get a USA visa so they could proceed to the USA by sea.
I found the same thing. I had an EU national aboard on a transatlantic. Fortunately the Bermudan immigration officer pointed out the requirement for a visa. As noted above, the US visa waiver program only applies to entry by commercial air carrier.

We got a B1/B2 visa for my crewmember in a couple of days from the counsolute in Hamilton. It may take you longer without a US citizen sponsor. The B1/B2 visa is sought after since it does allow one to work in the US. I would recommend visiting the nearest US Embassy or Counsol for current regulations.
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Old 16-07-2007, 11:17   #8
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Here's the pertinent section from the regs regarding cruising licenses:

"CRUISING LICENSES. Cruising licenses exempt pleasure boats of certain countries from having to undergo formal entry and clearance procedures such as filing manifests and obtaining permits to proceed as well as from the payment of tonnage tax and entry and clearance fees at all but the first port of entry. These licenses can be obtained from the U.S. Customs port director at the first port of arrival in the United States. Normally valid for one year, a cruising license has no bearing on the dutiability of a pleasure boat.

NOTE: Under Customs policy, when a foreign‑flag vessel's cruising license expires, that vessel may not be issued another license until the following three conditions have been met: (1) the vessel leaves the United States for a foreign port or place, and (2) it returns from that foreign port or place, and (3) at least 15 days have elapsed since the previous license expired. (Customs Directive 3100-06, November 7, 1988.)

Vessels of the following countries are eligible for cruising licenses (these countries extend the same privileges to American pleasure boats):

Argentina, Australia, Austria
Bahama Islands, Belgium, Bermuda
Canada
Denmark
Finland, France
Germany, Great Britain*, Greece
Honduras
Ireland, Italy
Jamaica
Marshall Islands
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway
Sweden, Switzerland
Turkey

*Great Britain (including Turks and Caicos Islands, St Vincent [including the territorial waters of the Northern Grenadine Islands], the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla Islands).

Note that this list is subject to change."

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout
I have never heard that vessels from South Africa can't obtain crusing permits in the USA. If it was me, when I arrived in Puerto Rico, I would go to Fajardo and pick up a USA cruising permit from US customs that is good for one year. That cruising permit will allow you to cruise Puerto Rico, and it will still be valid when you arrive in the USA. It will expire one year from the time that you recieved it in Puerto Rico.
I certainly defer to your wealth of experience in this regard, Dave, but I wonder if it would only work if the vessel never cleared in to any of the foreign ports between PR and the US.

TaoJones



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Old 16-07-2007, 15:09   #9
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Thanks for all your responses.

The comment about visa's is a very good point.

I had read the web site detailing which countries can get cruising permits and realised South Africa is not on the list. I will now however contact customs directly to see if their is any way a South African registered boat can get a permit.

What is very helpful is the statement that I will need to check in and out of customs districts as I cruise. I have searched the Web to find a map of these customs districts with out success ( I have found a list of districts) has any one come across a map ?

Thanks



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Old 16-07-2007, 22:29   #10
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Tao Jones

It looks like you have the latest information on foreign flag vessels and US customs. I didn't know all the regulations. We are documented Cayman Islands, and so that's the reason we didn't have a problem when we came to the USA.

Cheers,
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Old 17-07-2007, 02:01   #11
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Goto: US Customs & Border Protection
Travel Publications: U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Publications

Click on: Pleasure Boats - Publication # 0000-0544
Explains reporting and other requirements for pleasure boat owners/captains when entering U.S. Customs ports.
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