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Old 26-02-2016, 08:49   #16
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
I found this to be a good question. Interacting with various .gov agencies is one of the points of stress in my plans. I can see many reasons for getting into this situation (bad/old information, unexpected routing issues - ie having to find a port in a storm/repairs). My personal belief is that we will see a rise in the costs in clearing routines which will affect some (mine for sure) budgets. I await answers from people that have experience.
Why make interacting with local authorities a point of stress? You need to go into cruising with the understanding, even the expectation, that dealing with the bureaucracy in some destinations can be very different from what you've experienced in the US, Canada or wherever you started.

The process can be long, slow, maybe complicated and might cost something. but look at is as a way to meet and interact with the people of the country you're visiting. A couple of times in the past I spent most of a day dealing with the clearing in process and enjoyed the whole routine. It gave me a chance to chat with the various officials, ask about the locale, things to see and places to go. I'm sure that there will occasionally be one who is a pain in the posterior and rude no matter how you approach him/her but so far I have found that I deal with the officials politely and patiently that they responded in kind.
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Old 26-02-2016, 08:50   #17
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Re: refusing arrival fees

I found most places reasonable but had some trouble;

Fiji a lot of hard work!!!

Vanuatu very expensive, I was at the end of my trip with not much money left. This meant that I did everything not to spend any money in a place that could have benefited.

High fees do prevent you from spending more in that location and give you a negative first impression of the country. But there is genuine cost for checking you into the country and if these cost equal this, I think it is fair.


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Old 26-02-2016, 08:51   #18
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Re: refusing arrival fees

French Polynesia boat bond!!! Urgggg that on really sucked!!!!


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Old 26-02-2016, 08:54   #19
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
I am of course researching the fees in advance, but they change frequently, and for example I cannot find any information on what they are in St Barts.

What if the fees are more than all of your money?

It seems in this case reasonable to politely refuse and continue on, but I would like to verify where this is perfectly acceptable.
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tscott says:
Dec 24, 2015 04:48 PM


St Barth's can be as expensive or affordable as you make it. If you want to rub shoulders with all the wealthy mega yachts, here are some tips to be able to do it on a modest budget. There is an excellent chandlery with duty free pricing, located right on the waterfront on the main street. Duty free liquor can be found at Segeco, also on the waterfront across the harbor from the port captains office. Nicely stocked but smaller supermarket in Gustavia, a much larger Super U near the airport. Dining out can be pricey, but buying food at the markets was very reasonable. Several places to rent scooter, quads and cars. Scooters run between 35-45 euros/day, and you can tour the whole island fully in a day. Anchoring is not free, but is affordable. They have high & low season rates (HS & LS), paid in euros upon departure. Fee structure is based on length of boat and length of stay. For reference, to anchor our 35' boat in the outer anchorage it was 7.70/day (HS&LS). It would cost 19.25(HS)/8.80(LS) for a mooring, and 30.80(HS)/11.55(LS) to be tied to the inner quai. There was an additional 1.60/day marine park fees. For us it cost 37.20 for 4 days, which was more than enough time to see and enjoy the island and everything it had to offer, and we highly recommend a visit to this lovely island.
Travis and Joanne
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:06   #20
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
What if the fees are more than all of your money?
ummm...don't go there

You don't have a God given right to just show up and expect them not to charge for the cost of clearing you in (and no you don't get to decide what is a reasonable cost to clear you in).

I suspect people with your thought process are why some countries will confiscate the boat, lock you up and eventually put you on a plane out of the country. It would be much cheaper to ignore you but then there would be a flood of others trying to do the same thing.
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:14   #21
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Re: refusing arrival fees

Skipmac,

I've traveled internationally and hate dealing with US .gov even more than foreign ones lol. Bureaucracy just grates on my soul It's mostly a lack of experience on my part in clearing into countries via a boat, which is why answers to the question posted help me (I'm one of those planner types).

I've already crossed a couple of countries off my list of where I'll go based mostly on price, but in some cases difficulty of regulations. What's there to experience just isn't worth the price (IMO) but there is still plenty to explore in the world w/ reasonable pricing.
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:19   #22
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pirate Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by gunnado View Post
French Polynesia boat bond!!! Urgggg that on really sucked!!!!


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Boat Bond.? What Boat Bond..??
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:22   #23
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Re: refusing arrival fees

Even if there is a 72 hour rule in international law it does not mean that the local officials have heard of it. Often how you are treated and how much you are charged varies with the individual official you are dealing with. Some countries, Panama, Ecuador, Australia, and Fiji come to mind, can be very expensive. It is a big problem for those on very tight budgets and still an issue for those with moderate ones.
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:27   #24
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
Skipmac,

I've traveled internationally and hate dealing with US .gov even more than foreign ones lol. Bureaucracy just grates on my soul It's mostly a lack of experience on my part in clearing into countries via a boat, which is why answers to the question posted help me (I'm one of those planner types).

I've already crossed a couple of countries off my list of where I'll go based mostly on price, but in some cases difficulty of regulations. What's there to experience just isn't worth the price (IMO) but there is still plenty to explore in the world w/ reasonable pricing.
No doubt there are some countries that are just too expensive. I have not done the South Pacific but as noted in another post, some islands make you post a rather large boat bond. That to me could be a bit much. If you're just going for a weekend and don't plan a return, the $300 fee for the Bahamas could be a bit much.

If you want to plan you can get costs and procedures for just about every maritime country in the world at www.noonsite.com.

I agree the US isn't the easiest to deal with. I find customs agents at US airports generally grim and unpleasant but so far never held me up in red tape. The nicest, friendliest clearance I ever experienced was at the Dublin airport. I am going back to Ireland.
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Old 26-02-2016, 09:29   #25
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pirate Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Even if there is a 72 hour rule in international law it does not mean that the local officials have heard of it. Often how you are treated and how much you are charged varies with the individual official you are dealing with. Some countries, Panama, Ecuador, Australia, and Fiji come to mind, can be very expensive. It is a big problem for those on very tight budgets and still an issue for those with moderate ones.
True.. remember an official/soldier in a small hut/office behind the hotel in Shelter Bay tried nailing me for a second payment.. he did not get it..
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Old 26-02-2016, 10:09   #26
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Furthermore, isn't it true that any vessel can claim the right to stay 72 hours to make emergency repairs? Which countries allow for this? Doesn't this conflict with advance notice of arrival or areas which require permits to access?
I think you're referring to the Concept of Innocent Passage in the Territorial Sea?

Article 17:
Subject to this Convention, ships of all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea.

Article 18:
1. Passage means navigation through the territorial sea for the purpose of:

(a) traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters; or

(b) proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such roadstead or port facility.

2. Passage shall be continuous and expeditious. However, passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only in so far as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or are rendered necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress.

(source)

Not being able to afford the fees (or being 'hungry, tired an broke') is not "rendered necessary by force majeure or distress".

Going ashore is also not 'part of the deal' - if you have a real emergency or need to find shelter from a serious storm or something, you anchor and hoist your Q. Use your radio to contact authorities (if you can) and do not leave the boat.

Generally speaking: you can look up any fees and procedures of any planned stop along the way if it really comes down to the dollar. But maybe, if things are so tight you might not be able to afford going near land, you should consider saving up some money to provide yourself a "getting to shore" budget.
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Old 26-02-2016, 10:11   #27
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Re: refusing arrival fees

In short, do not bother with answers, just tell man where he can get free lunch and that's it.
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Old 26-02-2016, 11:15   #28
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Re: refusing arrival fees

The last time I remember reading anything from boat Alexandria he was in the south pacific, and all ready on a tight budget . If he is now in the caribe an don't flail him for being out of money .

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Old 26-02-2016, 12:00   #29
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pirate Re: refusing arrival fees

Actually if his Avatar is correct he's currently in Namibia... as to running out of money.. it happens all the time.
In my time as a live aboard in the Med (pre-delivery skipper) I often ran out off money.. what you do next is find a way to earn some.
I free dove for items lost over board, scrubbed bottoms, washed masts, painted house's, sold stuff I'd made to other cruisers like nicely spliced lines etc.
I have nothing against the guy having known about him since the Kerfuffle he caused in NZ way back.. he's done well to get so far.
When I crossed in my Hunter from NC to the UK I had £200 left to provision and pay my dues in the Azores.. thankfully it was a really busy year in Horta and the marina was full and the Reception dock 3-4 deep with boats rafted alongside so I got to anchor in the harbour for free..
I'm pretty used to sailing on a fence..
But after sailing so far round the world he surely must have picked up some idea of what's what.
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Old 26-02-2016, 12:04   #30
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Re: refusing arrival fees

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I agree the US isn't the easiest to deal with. I find customs agents at US airports generally grim and unpleasant but so far never held me up in red tape. The nicest, friendliest clearance I ever experienced was at the Dublin airport. I am going back to Ireland.

You have never exported an aircraft, usually no problem, but this one time that I was forced to clear through Miami International airport, that was a racket, plain and simple.
Started out with demanding a cargo manifest, I said no cargo. well Station Manager had determined the aircraft was it's own cargo, you need a cargo manifest sent in 24 hours in advance, it then went to where is your passenger manifest? I said only one seat, no passengers, Station Manager had determined the pilot was a passenger so need that cleared 24 hours in advance.
Tell you what, what you really need is a Customs agent, here let me give you a card of a gentleman that can get this cleared up and you on your way.
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