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Old 10-10-2021, 08:11   #61
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

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Originally Posted by edsailing View Post
Being stopped at sea is virtually unknown - the stops that are made are usually "intelligence led" and result in drugs being found!

I'm port you should have the ship's and crew papers available for the port authorities to inspect.

I used to regularly move yachts from the UK to the Algarve and Mediterranean, and vice versa, the ship's papers were the only ones that anyone was interested in.
The 'intelligent' part is questionable. People I know and worked for bought a vessel in La. and refurbished it completely. Second week out they were stopped, escorted in to port and searched. The boat was litterally torn apart searching for the drugs and/or illegals the previously owners were suspect of. All they got was an "Ooops, sorry, go repair it again."
I was out fishing in my dink (3 mtr) past the last channel marker. F&W came runing out to check on me, but ignored other boats. Maybe they thought I was in trouble?
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:58   #62
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

Vat is undoubtably an issue at the moment if youíre in a U.K. flagged yacht, which is why I recommend it not be U.K. flagged if you intend to keep it in Europe.

But Iíve never heard being stoped on the water in regards vat.
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Old 10-10-2021, 12:13   #63
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

A lot of people have probably heard, seen or experienced a boarding that had some difficulties, but that doesn't mean it's all like that.

I've been boarded probably 6 times in various places and times by both USCG and USC, but never had a problem of any kind.

As above, I think some of the times we were being watched for a long time. One time I was passing behind a cruise ship off Cape Canaveral, and the next thing I knew they were there, never saw them coming...black go fast......

It was always done in a very professional and courteous manner.
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Old 10-10-2021, 12:15   #64
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

I can only speak of SE Asia.
Boarded in Palau the first time but not the second. They were interested in any fresh meat in the fridge.

In Singapore it was standard to be boarded at Sister's Island on the way in. I believe that has changed and now you have to have an agent check you in so this likely has gone away. Per square mile of water, there must be 10 Singapore coastguard for every 1 US coastguard in places like Miami.

Never boarded in Malaysia, Thailand or Philippines despite about 2 dozens entry/exits. Paperwork was always on shore.

I was followed for many kilometers along the coast of Malaysia by Malaysia Militia, however, that appears to be more for my protection. Brunei even did a clear over flight.
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Old 11-10-2021, 10:39   #65
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

I was stopped offshore once in Mexico near Cedros Island. The seas were a bit rough. The hailing vessel told me to stop. That would have been a problem so I kept boat at 1,000 rpm to maintain steering. They dropoed a RIB and boarded and made a cursory inspection of the boat. I gave them a few paks of cugsrettes and a 6 pak of root beer. They never checked the engine room. They did not speak english. The person in charge was most concerned about me giving him a favorable report on the customer satisfaction form.

Every time I have reentered the US I was throughly inspected by Customs. I hsve a 50' motor yacht. Ive never been inspected entering Mexico or Canada.
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:28   #66
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

I spent 15 months sailing around the Med over a 5 year period. My boat was never boarded or searched, but I had a couple of visits from coasties at sea and several while at marinas. They were always professional and generally friendly.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:27   #67
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

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If you or your crew are young and shaggy, or your boat is old and shabby, you can expect to be boarded and searched regularly. If you are a retired couple on a nice boat, almost never.
Beat me to it. Having spent a lot of time on the US/Canadian border, this is my experience.

Also being a smart$@% and they don't need no probable cause as you are crossing the border...they can tear your boat apart and make your life miserable.

This more as you are entering the country as opposed to being out in open waters with no clear destination immediately at hand and it's usually young guys being stupid who catch their attention.
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Old 20-10-2021, 01:30   #68
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Re: Do customs officials routinely board/search yachts?

Stopped 3 times along the coast of Albania. Italian Guardia Financia boat with 2 Italians and 1 Albanian aboard each time. Wanted to see papers, never boarded. Nice guys as long as all is in order. Likely that it was a slow day (only boat around) and they wanted to say hello.
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