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Old 08-12-2018, 11:16   #1
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US territories

While I am several years away from having this issue I was wondering. I checked noonsite but I am not seeing the case specific to US citizens.

If going from the US mainland to a US territory do you need to check in and out of the country?

What about US territory to US territory? Puerto Rico to USVI?
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:28   #2
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Re: US territories

No you dont. Or didnt a few years ago anyway.
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Old 08-12-2018, 14:26   #3
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Re: US territories

Gary-
In theory, if you are entering the US "from abroad" you need to check in, yes. Even if that is something like PR to FL. The problem is, you've "left" the US in between, and those nice folks in Customs get all upset about that.
When in doubt? Ask them directly, find out what the folks in that specific destination area will be happy with. Easier to make them happy, than go to court and ask for your boat back.
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Old 08-12-2018, 14:47   #4
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Re: US territories

In the past at least (havent cleared out of USA recently, but I think this is still the case), a USA flagged vessel with USA citizens aboard did not need to clear out when leaving USA but did need to clear back in (there was also a call in service to by pass that in most cases...not sure of its status).

In recent years this has caused problems in places like Mexico who wanted to see your last port of call papers (which is normal in most countries) for vessels coming from the USA. This meant USA vessels going to Mexico (at least Isla Mujeres) had to request clearance docs when leaving the USA.

Dont know about USA territory to territory, but my guess is yes you have to clear...maybe someone here knows for sure...like PR to USVI?
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Old 08-12-2018, 15:51   #5
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Re: US territories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
No you dont. Or didnt a few years ago anyway.
Even weirder: As a non-US flagged boat having checked-in to Puerto Rico and got our 'Cruising Licence' we then sailed to North Carolina and the only requirement was that we 'telephoned the Coast Guard as we'd changed Coast Guard Region. Similarly when we left mainland US - NC again - and sailed to St Thomas' in the US Virgins we went to Border to Control to enquire what was needed, answer: Nothing, though you're three months into your visa, so must leave within the next three.
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Old 08-12-2018, 16:25   #6
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Re: US territories

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Originally Posted by ohgary View Post
While I am several years away from having this issue I was wondering. I checked noonsite but I am not seeing the case specific to US citizens.

If going from the US mainland to a US territory do you need to check in and out of the country?

What about US territory to US territory? Puerto Rico to USVI?
It depends on what US territory you are referring to, and which way you are moving.

For Customs purposes Puerto Rico is the same thing as the 50 states; USVI is a different thing but to a great extent this only matters when leaving USVI. Entering PR or mainland from USVI is the same thing as coming from another country.

Another story is that US citizens sailing US-flagged boats can get away with breaking Customs rules in a way that is unthinkable for "aliens".
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Old 08-12-2018, 16:27   #7
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Re: US territories

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Originally Posted by bobnlesley View Post
Even weirder: As a non-US flagged boat having checked-in to Puerto Rico and got our 'Cruising Licence' we then sailed to North Carolina and the only requirement was that we 'telephoned the Coast Guard as we'd changed Coast Guard Region. Similarly when we left mainland US - NC again - and sailed to St Thomas' in the US Virgins we went to Border to Control to enquire what was needed, answer: Nothing, though you're three months into your visa, so must leave within the next three.
Spot on. For Customs purposes PR is one more state. USVI is not.
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Old 08-12-2018, 17:02   #8
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Re: US territories

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Spot on. For Customs purposes PR is one more state. USVI is not.



I think the difference is because the USVI is a free port. So, you don't need to check in there, coming from Puerto Rico, but you do need to check in to Puerto Rico, coming from the USVI. Same thing at the airport in Charlotte Amalie, although they have recently eliminated a good bit of the bottle neck there.
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Old 08-12-2018, 18:40   #9
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Re: US territories

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I think the difference is because the USVI is a free port. So, you don't need to check in there, coming from Puerto Rico, but you do need to check in to Puerto Rico, coming from the USVI. Same thing at the airport in Charlotte Amalie, although they have recently eliminated a good bit of the bottle neck there.
Exactly
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:53   #10
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Re: US territories

Not only were we required to check in with Customs, Immigration, Port Captain, Port Security and Environment Protection when we arrived in Pago Pago, but they also require you to request permission to enter the port while you are still more than 3 miles off. Our passports were stamped and we had to repeat the process when we left.

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Old 12-12-2018, 19:33   #11
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Re: US territories

Well, folks, this just in: US boats leaving the USVI will now have to clear out, which has never been required in the past. One presumes that foreign boats will be required to do the same thing. The stated reason is that the Dutch Caribbean Islands (think St. Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, etc.) are going to stop allowing US boats to arrive without having cleared out of the US. No explanation, yet, of exactly how this is going to be done, other than that you can clear in and out at the same time, if within 48 hours. That will help charter boats, but I don't think it will have much effect on private ones. Will everyone have to go ashore, like when you check in? Will you have to do it if you are going to a country that doesn't mind that you haven't cleared (currently, the BVI, for example, or is the US going to encourage everyone to "care"), What is the penalty if you just leave? I don't have any of the answers, but since I am going to be entering and departing the USVI three times between now and early January, I guess I will be finding out. Bottom line, though, is a major change in the ways things have been done, East Coast, West Coast, wherever. I wonder if the rules have changed regarding checking in to Mexico. Do you now have to have checked out of the US? Someone here should know.
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Old 12-12-2018, 21:29   #12
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Re: US territories

The USA has always given zarpas to boats that asked for them. It might take a bit of fussing, especially if it is unusual activity for that particular port, (Port of New York, are you listening?) but it can be done.

Some countries INSIST that you have a zarpa from your last port when you clear in. That way they know you aren't a fugitive or deadbeat a half step in front of the law.

Almost all countries that see a lot of boats clearing in directly from the USA are forgiving of this, but not all. If they want to, they can turn you away.
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Old 13-12-2018, 00:28   #13
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Re: US territories

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented enhanced security procedures for small boat arrivals. This increased enforcement posture requires physical reporting to a designated local CBP office when returning from foreign ports or locations for a face-to-face inspection, unless enrolled in an alternative inspection program that would allow arrival reporting by app or phone.

Pleasure Boat Clearance Procedures
Clearance procedures for pleasure boats arriving at the United States from foreign port include:

Arrivals to the US Virgin Islands from a foreign port and,
Arrivals to Puerto Rico (including Vieques and Culebra) from the US Virgin Islands and foreign ports
Alternative Inspection Programs Accepted in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival - Mobile (CBP ROAM)
Verified Traveler (including LBO, SVRS, and I-68 numbers)
CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival - Mobile (ROAM)
The CBP ROAM app is a free mobile application that provides an option for pleasure boaters to report their U.S. entry to CBP via their personal smart device or a tablet located at local businesses to satisfy reporting requirements.

Travelers using the CBP ROAM app may use the app to apply to become Verified Travelers (which includes existing LBO, SVRS, and I-68 numbers) and receive expedited processing on future arrivals.

Participants in these programs may report their arrival to CBP by calling one of the locations mentioned below. Participants in these programs may be exempt from reporting for an in-person inspection, unless directed by a CBP officer. Participation in the LBO program does not exempt boaters from decal requirement.

Beginning September 5, 2018, SVRS will no longer be in service and float plans will no longer be accepted.

Boaters looking for a new, faster way to report their arrival and/or apply for a registered boater program may use the CBP ROAM app, available for free on the Apple App and Google Play stores. Current SVRS registration numbers may be used within the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM) for expedited processing. Boaters may also continue to report their arrival via designated telephone reporting numbers, if desired.

It looks per CBP that you won’t need to check in if going from the mainland to PR/USVI and/or back. Check in is only required if you visit a foreign port. As someone mention getting a zarpa is a good idea if you plan to visit a foreign port so that country knows when you left the US or it’s territory.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-...tions/pr-us-vi
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