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Old 04-12-2009, 18:17   #1
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Point of Origin Clearance

when clearing into a foreign port, i understand that, your clearance paperwork is required from your last port of call... how is this handled when you sail to your first foreign port of call?

Is anything (paperwork) required when you depart from your point of orogin? ie. if I leave the us and enter a port in spain will they ask for any specific paperwork from my home country( as opposed to if i had entered port from a foreign country where they would ask for your clearance forms from the last country visited)?
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Old 04-12-2009, 19:24   #2
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???

If you sail with a US flagged boat and you sail her from US to Spain you need the clearance from US Customs, or whoever gives clearance there.

EU flagged boats are not required to provide clearance (zarpe) within EU (neither if sailing to any French territory - Martinique, Guadeloupe, FP, New Caledonia, etc.). This, I guess, is like sailing between states of the United States. But a US flagged boat will be asked to show zarpe from her last port of call when entering any new EU state.

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Old 04-12-2009, 21:42   #3
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Clearing out of the USA/Point of origin

barnakiel,

I appreciate the response. Could you kinda walk me throught the correct proceedure for departing your point of origin/country of origin? Should I check out with the coast guard or customs, or obtain some type of clearance paperwork. What agency should I clear when departing the USA for an extended cruise if the USA is my port of orgin? Coast Guard, Customs...???

Please forgive the ignorance. I understad the requirements for documentation from your last port of call, but haven't had any luck at finding out what is required before departing your home port/country.

Any info is greatly appreciated.


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Old 04-12-2009, 21:44   #4
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and please forgive the misspellings and lack of puctuation. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2009, 22:23   #5
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Outward clearance

Ken,

I'm afraid that my data for the US is somewhat dated, for the last time we departed there was in 1989, and was from San Francisco. At that time I tried to find some official who would issue the outward clearance document, but no one was interested in dealing with yachts. Fortunately, our initial landfall was in Mexico, and they were well used to the situation and there were no problems.

We left Mexico a year later and there did the usual outward clearance, and have done so in each of the many following countries we've visited... and each new country DID require that we present those documents.

So, the answer to your query is generally yes, you should have outward clearance, and no, I don't know how one obtains it in the US these days. A call to Customs might well help...

In our wanderings about the Pacific, we've encountered a variety of attitudes about paperwork for small yachts. It is always a good idea to find out ahead of arrival about procedures , visa requirements and any fees that may be involved. For instance, it is a big no-no to arrive in Australia without a visa for each crew member, and currently the fee for your quarantine inspection is a cool 330 Aussie dollars. That is, IF you arrive during business hours, M-F. At other times it jumps to an astounding 660$. Sadly, this greedy bureaucracy is driving many cruisers to skip our favorite off-shore country, but I digress...

Obtaining this sort of info is not always easy. An obvious start is the Consulate or High Commisioner for the to-be-visited country, if there is one that you can access! Many countries maintain websites that may contain useful data, but they seem to not always address the case of small yachts. Cornell's Noonsite often has info, but it is likely to be out of date. And if there are other yotties about who have recently been there, they will have on-scene info.

This sort of exercise, while sometimes aggravating is part and parcel of cruising. With the right attitude and a bit of patience it can be sorta fun... sometimes! We've actually made personal friendshops with a few Customs officers over the years, and they are often very interesting folks to talk to once the paperwork is done.

Incidentally, good onya for thinking of this before starting out. Many newbies don't, and as a result get into strife with officials, and these days getting crosswise with them in one country often follows you wherever you go.

Cheers and good luck,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
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Old 05-12-2009, 00:41   #6
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thanks for the info. As with everything else in life, I have learned to go with the flow. I will check with the coast guard and see if they can advise. If i can't find any info, then.... To boldly go!
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:19   #7
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Emma Gail,

U.S. citizens are not required to clear out of the U.S.

Coming from the U.S., you won't need outbound clearance papers when clearing in to your next port of call, just your USCG Certificate of Documentation for the boat and your passports. Some countries require visas prior to showing up on their doorstep, others will issue you a tourist visa on the spot when you clear in.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Ken,

For instance, it is a big no-no to arrive in Australia without a visa for each crew member, and currently the fee for your quarantine inspection is a cool 330 Aussie dollars. That is, IF you arrive during business hours, M-F. At other times it jumps to an astounding 660$. Sadly, this greedy bureaucracy is driving many cruisers to skip our favorite off-shore country, but I digress...
z

I think Australia requires 96 hours notice before you arrive!! See below:

If you intend to visit or return to Australia by yacht or other small craft you need to ensure that you report your intended arrival to Australian Customs.

Under Customs legislation, the master of any vessel, including private yachts and other small craft, must provide Customs with notification of intended arrival at an Australian port. This report must be received by Customs not later than 96 hours before your intended arrival in an Australian port. If your transit to Australia is less than 96 hours, shorter reporting timeframes apply.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:37   #9
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Ken, great sailing boat you have there.

Let's try to give you as accurate an answer as we can. In which 'first' country will you be arriving from the USA? Mexico? Or the Bahamas? And please confirm you ae a U.S. citizen and with a U.S. documented vessel?

First, Customs & Border Protection (cbp.gov) does not issue official clearances to USA boats when they are exiting the U.S. or a U.S. territory; their view is that it's not authorized and that it's "understood" that the next non-U.S. port officials will know this (which for we yachties may or may not prove to be true). However, they do have a clearance form that they will hand you and which you can fill out (but which they will not then process) and that certainly looks official and can serve as a clearance document at your first foreign port of call.

But back to your Q: If you are planning to arrive in the Bahamas, you won't have a problem as they get tons of U.S. boaters arriving there regularly. If you are arriving in Isla Mujeres, there also is usually not a problem...altho' I ran across a report just this week over at the SSCA Discussion Board where a U.S. sailor had run into a health official (the first stop in the clearance process there) who expected to see some official paperwork, so apparently this can crop up even where this issue usually isn't a problem. (And that official called around and finally 'got the word' and admitted the U.S. sailor). If you are planning on arriving at one of the ports along Mexico's N Yucatan coast, this may be more likely to happen since they see fewer U.S. yachts there...so where you're headed does somewhat influence this.

Bottom line: It's not something I would worry about, OTOH if you expect to arrive at an uncommon port for yachts AND it's convenient, you might stop by the local CBP office before leaving and ask for their clearance form. (Remember: CBP folks have offices at the smaller airports that receive international general aviation flights, as well...so they aren't only at the clearance ports and in the big cities). And finally, have you picked up your Local Boaters Option card from the CBP folks? It's free, doesn't expire, and provides you with the ability to return to the U.S. without needing to check in to a U.S. clearance port and by only calling an 800 number (unless there's a problem with your vessel or you, for some reason). Works great when going down island and clearing in to PR or the USVI's, as well. Pick it up before you leave, but take your passport and boat document with you when you visit the CBP office to get it.

Jack
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Old 06-12-2009, 19:19   #10
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