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Old 19-11-2013, 09:18   #1
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US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Good morning, I am a US citizen and plan to sail from Grenada to Puerto Rico in December and then back to Grenada in January. I looked at a thread and saw a site to read:
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - CBP.gov
I have been sailing 5 years around the Windward’s and Leeward’s, there are few rules about boat safety equipment, holding tanks, ect. What will I encounter in PR.? Will it be similar to what I have experienced down here? I am US Coast Guard Registered.
Thanks s/v Aloisius
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:28   #2
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

i can only tell you what happened to us -- and it was not pleasant --
we had been out of the usa about 2 years in the western caribbean and sailed across to jamaica then eventually to puerto rico --

we stopped in ponce to check in and went to the yacht club who charged us $10 per person to land our dink - we asked about checking in and they told us we had to go into town and they would call a cab and for us to wait outside --
we got to customs who proceeded to rip our heads off for not calling in first - we do not have a phone and the marina did the calling - we tried to explain but got then got ripped again - they took our passports and disappeared - they came back and asked why we did not have a easy pass (or something like that) and we told them we did but it only worked in fla - they said it did not and i said when we left the usa it only worked in the fla at which time i got ripped again and worse than the last time - then some agricultural guy comes out and lectures us on our trash for about 20 minutes - then the guy with our passports comes back out and tells us we owe for the customs sticker that we did not purchase that year and again gives us a small lecture on checking in properly

the next time we go to a usa territory we are going to skip customs and immigration - we have been to 28 different countries and by far the worse is the usa
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:33   #3
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Sorry to hear about your trouble. They are trying ot put easy pass in down here, although I think it is called something else, but most ports I go to it is not working.
I think I better also find a phone that I can use also.
Thank you. Dave
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:49   #4
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Dave,

Look into getting a customs user fee decal before making your trip. If you do, you are eligible to clear in by phone without having to appear in person at a Customs and Border Protection office. Of course, they could require you to report if they want to. If you don't get the sticker, you'll have no choice but to report in person and pay the $27.50 fee anyway.

Here's a link with some more information on the user fee. You can also find the Customs and Border Protection office locations and phone numbers elsewhere on the website.

CBP User Fee
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:49   #5
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

THis will make it possible to not go to customs, how about immigration? Is that Boarder Protection? Thanks Dave
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:54   #6
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Customs and immigration (Border Protection) are all together.
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:14   #7
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
the next time we go to a usa territory we are going to skip customs and immigration - we have been to 28 different countries and by far the worse is the usa
Seriously? You didn't bother to check the current regulations, got quite properly lectured for it, and you think the solution is just to ignore the laws completely the next time?

Wow.

All you have to do is check the regulations before you enter a new country. That is just common sense. The fact that it is your country of citizenship doesn't exempt you from the need to find out the rules. Most especially when you've been out of the country for a long time.
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:45   #8
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Quote:
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the next time we go to a usa territory we are going to skip customs and immigration - we have been to 28 different countries and by far the worse is the usa
You didn't take the time to do the research on how to clear customs, but it's the fault of customs that your check-in was inefficient? And now your conclusion is that you should just skip it next time?

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Old 19-11-2013, 18:17   #9
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I just bought the book a cruising guide to Puerto Rico by Stephen Pavlidis to research the customs and immgrations. There is very little information. I sail into and out off all the countries in the windward nd leewards for 5 years and only use the cruising guides for this type of information. So, please reframe from saying how research would help avoid these types of problems that were incurred. I am finding out a lot just from this net that I would never have known otherwise.
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Old 19-11-2013, 18:43   #10
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I've never heard of an easy pass but I do have a local boater option (LBO) number that I use all the time when traveling to PR or to the USVI from the BVI. The LBO with a customs decal sticker (DTOPS) is all that is needed to clear in with a phone call. The sticker isn't needed when clearing into the USVI.
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Old 19-11-2013, 18:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landonshaw View Post
I just bought the book a cruising guide to Puerto Rico by Stephen Pavlidis to research the customs and immgrations. There is very little information. I sail into and out off all the countries in the windward nd leewards for 5 years and only use the cruising guides for this type of information. So, please reframe from saying how research would help avoid these types of problems that were incurred. I am finding out a lot just from this net that I would never have known otherwise.
Your occupation lists a university professor. One would assume that would afford you access to the Internet. With that access I suggest you add Noonsite.com to your list of places to quickly find current information on the requirements of clearance procedures for most places on the planet.
Fairwinds.
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Old 19-11-2013, 18:54   #12
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

We have been using the Custom and Border fee program for a few years now and it has been great. Whether coming into Florida or arriving in Puerto Rico or the US Virgins all we had to do was call upon arrival. Of course that is for the two of us who are registered, with additional crew we head into the office with paperwork.
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Old 20-11-2013, 04:59   #13
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Thank you. Never heard of the site that you reference. I will add it today and view it. It sounds very handy. Thank you. Dave s/v Aloisius
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:57   #14
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

The local boater option (LBO) number, do I have to register for that? Can I just arrive in Puerto Rico and go to the customs and immigrations office as they say within 24 hr? It sounds like it is a voluntary program.

I have filed and paid for the decal. Aloisius
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Old 20-11-2013, 07:09   #15
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Re: US Citizen sailing to Puerto Rico

Just answered my own question from the Noonsite.com page. It is a voluntary option
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