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Old 13-12-2010, 18:49   #16
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Originally Posted by JimJohnston View Post
Hi Osiris

can you direct me to a source of immigration & customs regulations and fees for the various islands? I ask this following the surprise we got upon arrival in Sint Maarten - plans to stay till the end of Jan at a cost of $20/wk required an upfront payment of $180 that I wasn't expecting.

If you know of a web site that gives all inclusive information that would be appreciated. Or of course, tell me how you discovered 'the rules'.

I've heard that some islands are better avoided because of difficult administration of expensive fees but I don't have concrete evidence to consider. Advice you might offer would be greatly appreciated.



If you checked in on the Dutch side, check out, then go check in on the French side.

Now I know they (French & Dutch) were discussing how to get the fees between the Dutch and French sides to more closely match, but when we were there last, the French side of the lagoon cost about 10 euros to check in and then anchoring was free. The French were implementing a fee to anchor in Marigot Bay, but the enforcement was pretty spotty.
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Old 14-12-2010, 06:21   #17
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As Pblais put it, things are always changing and what is published today about a particular fee may not be true tomorrow.
- - The French versus Dutch of St Martin is an old news item that is still evolving. The Dutch started it; the French reluctantly followed then thought better and instituted a "don't ask, don't tell" unofficial policy which brought their fees back to reasonable.
- - In the BVI, the head honcho tried to drastically raise the fees and was beaten back by an organized marine charter/business community. St Barts is reportedly using fees to discourage visitors. Antiqua has very reasonable fees but very unreasonable officials if you do not follow their rules to the letter.
- - Some islands like St Lucia engage in subterfuge to attract cruisers then claim that they really didn't mean what they said. Cost me an extra $125 to get out of that mess.
- - Grenada has re-interpreted their rules to effective quadruple the cost of staying there more than one month in regards to government fees.
- - All this information can be accessed from web searches for the island of interest and customs/immigration fees. It takes time to weed out the non-relevant links and some creativity of search words. Then there are the cruiser nets in SSB and VHF to help get the "latest."
- - But in general fees average in the US$25/person with some islands like the French being free and others like the D.R. and Sint Maarten being very high. Unless you are going to be "underway" to the next island within the next week, specific information is marginally useful.
- - In total the whole Caribbean is not expensive (with the exceptions noted above) and you will be spending many times more money on boat parts, tours, and food than you will on checking in/out.
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