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Old 29-05-2003, 23:21   #1
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Multiple Trips to the Bahamas within Twelve Months

I live aboard in the central Florida Keys (Marathon area) and want to make multiple trips to the Bahamas far out islands (Cay Sal Banks area). The nearest point of entry is Cat Cay which is nearly 100 miles out of my way.

My question:
Do I need to check in at a port of entry each time I return to Cay Sal Banks, or can I just check in once and get my 12 month cruising permit, and then make multiple trips during the twelve month period?

I look forward to hearing from anyone with information in this area.
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Old 02-06-2003, 07:45   #2
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multiple trips to the Bahamas

Unless they have changed the rules, the fee you pay when you clear in to the Bahamas, (was $100, just been raised to $300 by the way), is for a 12 month permit. However if you leave you must clear out, then on reentry you must clear in and purchase a new $300 cruising permit. Sure you want to make multiple trips? It's going to get expensive. You can fly out leaving your boat in Bahiamian waters, then fly back to your boat without having to renew your permit but if the boat leaves, you have to pay again when the boat reenters.

Colin.
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Old 02-06-2003, 13:58   #3
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You have just confirmed my suspicions, however, I was not aware of the increase in permit fees!! You are right, I need to rethink my plans.

Thank you so much for your reply.
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Old 13-06-2003, 14:35   #4
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Bahamas has change of plans

From a message I just read on the CWBB seems after one day of the new fee of $300, they have decided to go back to the old fee of $100 at least until Jan 2004. I would check with them to find out what the fee's are going to be before you go.

Colin.
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Old 01-08-2003, 11:46   #5
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Protest?

From "SOUNDINGS - TRADE ONLY TODAY" (July 31/03)

BoatU.S. protests new Bahamian fees

The Boat Owners Association of the United States is using its 540,000-member clout to protest sharp increases in cruising permit fees in the Bahamas.

The island nation on July 1 boosted its previous $100 entry fee to $300 — a 200-percent increase — for boats 35 feet and larger. Cruisers in smaller boats now pay $150 instead of the previous $100.

“A reasonable increase might be warranted if the Bahamian government could show some tangible benefit,” said BoatU.S. president Jim Ellis, who recently returned from a Bahama cruise aboard his 42-footer. “But the steep increase, as well as the way it was implemented, raises a great deal of concern,” Ellis said in a statement.

The increases originally had been scheduled to take effect at the start of 2004, but BoatU.S. says the Bahamian government “abruptly moved the date forward six months.”

BoatU.S. is calling on those of its members who might be affected to e-mail Bahamian comptroller of customs John Rolle at cofrolle@batelnet.bs to register their protests. It asks that copies be sent to govtaffairs@boatus.com.

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Gord May
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Old 01-08-2003, 16:10   #6
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Fee Increase

Thanks for the update.

I have just sent an email expressing my concern and encourage others to do the same.
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Old 06-08-2003, 14:33   #7
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Update email address for John Rolle

My email to John Rolle at cofrolle@batelnet.bs came back as undeliverable. Do you have an updated address, or perhaps he has changed it intentionally. HA!!!

Thanks again for the info

Bill
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Old 21-01-2004, 05:11   #8
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Update - Bahamas Cruising Fees

Bahamas eases up on cruising fees

The government of the Bahamas has agreed to modify the controversial increase in cruising permit fees enacted last summer, according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States — one of the strongest critics of the increases.

BoatU.S. said today the fee structure announced last July 1 remains in place at $150 for boats up to 35 feet and $300 for boats over that size. Those fees, however, now will allow two entries during a 90-day period instead of one.

“The rate is effectively cut in half for those who choose to visit the islands more than once in a 90-day period,” said BoatU.S. in a statement.

BoatU.S. said Keith Gomez, a boating and fishing specialist with the Bahamas Tourism Centre, has acknowledged that complaints from boaters and the boating industry are “having an impact.” The organization said it is continuing to urge its members to e-mail Gomez at kgomez@bahamas.com and Bahamas comptroller of customs John Rolle at cofrolle@batelnet.bs to protest the fees.

“We’ve seen several hundred messages to the Bahamas government and they were effective,” said BoatU.S. associate director of federal affairs Dick Thompson.
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Old 15-01-2005, 05:09   #9
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Bahamas Cruising Permit:
(valid for two entries during any 90-day period):

$150 for boats up to 35 feet
and
$300 for boats over 35 feet

These fees are inclusive of a cruising permit, fishing permit and departure tax for up to four persons with no overtime charges for Customs or Immigration. Each additional person above four will be charged additional departure tax ($15 ?).

The clearance fees are “not applicable to dinghies and life rafts imported via such vessels” - except, I’ve heard (not confirmed) that a further $150 is charged for a tender over 18 feet LOA.

Bahamian Customs Officers will now require the ORIGINAL of your State Registration or Coast Guard Documentation to be submitted with your application and a copy of same. They will return the original but will retain the copy for their records. They require that the copy show the names of the vessel and the length. Since some of the Customs Offices may not have a copy machine I strongly recommend that you make several copies and bring them with you.

I've also heard that the Bahamian government might be reviewing the fee structure during their 2005 budget meetings, but have no further info’. You may want to call Customs before you cross the Gulf Stream into the Bahamas to verify fees.

U.S. telephone numbers for The Bahamas Ministry or Tourism:
NYC: (212)-758-2777
Fla: (954)-888-5900
In Nassau - Bahamas Customs (242) 326-4401 or 325-6551)
In Nassau - Bahamas Immigration (242) 325-2668)

You may enter the Bahamas by boat at any of these Ports of Entry.
http://www.bahamas-travel.info/ports_of_entry.htm
There are immigration and customs forms that need to be filled out. You may request the forms in advance by writing or emailing the Comptroller of Customs.
Comptroller of Customs
P.O. Box N-155
Nassau, Bahamas
cofrolle@batelnet.bs

On-line forms:
Crew List: http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/crewlist.pdf
Customs (1): http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/customs1.pdf
Customs (2): http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/customs2.pdf
Health (1): http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/health1.pdf
Health (2): http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/health2.pdf
Manifest: http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/immmanif.pdf
Vessel Info’: http://www.pelicanpower.com/AbacoGuide/vessel.pdf
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Old 27-07-2006, 14:55   #10
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We must all remember however that these increased fees are going to help the poor hungry unemployed natives of this great country, to clean up the trash in the streets of Eleuthera, to improve navigation aids (Gun Cay lighthouse will light up again), removal of dead dogs from the streets, the channels will be dredged, the security and safety in Bimini will be improved, and ........ oops I apologize, I was dreaming. This is just another gouging of people with money to put the money in the pockets of corrupt government employees. Maybe the U.S. should export "Democracy" to the Bahamas? At least it would be a good colony for our expansionist tactics.

These things irk me, obviously. I read things like Panama is now going to require a security check as part of the cruising permit, and guess what, the price went up to $200. Is Noriega already out of jail?

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Old 27-07-2006, 15:49   #11
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The fees to the Bahamas right now is $150.00 for boats under 35' and $300.00 over 35'.

When you leave the country and come back within 90 days, the second entry is free.
You still do all paperwork and get a new cruising permit, just don't pay anything.

It is highly recommended that we follow every rule in the book as the Defence Force vessels now have fuel and personell to run around and check on boats.

That changed after 9/11...Before that date everythong was pretty lax and some guys would shoot over to Bimini for a few days, then sail home to Florida without checking in. (not me of course)

Nowadays the Bahamians are in kahutz with the US Coast Guard and some other agencies, Border Protection or whatever they call it.
Therefore, they "know" when ya are approaching or leaving the Bahamas, or apporaching or leaving the Florida coast.
Don't think they use satelite technology, but low flying airplanes with cameraes are a common sight, so are high flying airplanes with down-looking radars. (Originally used to catch drug smugglers)

I don't belive in conspiracy theories or black helicopters and all that, but these days there is some severe penalties for not following the rules, and the odds are much higher that you will be caught.

I may be going over there in August, anybody else from the board headed for the islands?
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Old 27-07-2006, 17:56   #12
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Black helicopters. Oh,yeah, we see them every trip to the Bahamas. Often. Don't assume they don't know where you are. A big reason I'm not planning a trip to Cuba anytime soon. This administration has a real h*^d on for unapproved cruises to Cuba.

George
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Old 27-07-2006, 19:22   #13
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Often. Don't assume they don't know where you are.
Yeah, there is hidden cameraes in Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) they get yer name and hailing port of the stern, from there on it is not difficult to track the vessel via advanced radar across the Guld Stream and back.

The low flying USCG Falcon jets or the Custom King Airs track you in the ocean, also with cameraes, then if ya cheat, they take yer boat and throw yer arse in jail.

Have not been there or done that, but these days I follow the rules, they are not that hard anyway.
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Old 28-07-2006, 07:28   #14
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The Bahamian Defence Force is a lot more active than they used to be. I got boarded once at Staniel Cay, way back years ago in 1991 or so, but that was a real rare occurence. Last season they did a swoop and boarded all the boats anchored from Hamburger to Sand Dollar (this was about three hundred boats). The boats without anyone aboard received a notice and had to report ashore with all their papers the next morning. They also stopped the boats leaving the harbour and boarded those. They (US authorities) used to have a blimp way up in the sky in Georgetown, I think it was radar but everyone claimed they had cameras on it. Nowadays the US Army flies those black helicopters out of Georgetown day and night. They seem to follow the exact same track back and forth.
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Old 28-07-2006, 09:59   #15
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CSY -- i put my house, in miami, with a real estate broker this week and when it sells which i hope is soon plan to move on board and then head to bahamas after christmas - (my son would like me to spend it with him in California) - then back to the east coast in april/may and back again after next years hurricane season
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