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Old 18-03-2024, 19:16   #1
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Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

I'm still pissed about the shakedown we got from Customs at JVD.
We found a Mooring Ball near the SDB with plans to moor and send the captain over to Customs by dingy so the kids could stay on the boat until we cleared customs. As soon as we caught the ball, the JVD Customs patrol boat made a beeline for us.

The captain went over to the Customs office by dingy and they proceeded to shake him down.
They threatened to fine us an exorbitant amount, impound the boat, etc. because we didn't go directly to the customs office on arrival.

The captain told us that what we did was common practice, and that he had never had issues prior. The customs officers repeatedly pulled out the book and read the statute to him.

Ultimately, we had to pay them off. This process took about 3 hrs.

What a racket!!

Beware of JVD Customs!
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Old 19-03-2024, 05:05   #2
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

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Originally Posted by Urotex View Post
I'm still pissed about the shakedown we got from Customs at JVD.
We found a Mooring Ball near the SDB with plans to moor and send the captain over to Customs by dingy so the kids could stay on the boat until we cleared customs. As soon as we caught the ball, the JVD Customs patrol boat made a beeline for us.

The captain went over to the Customs office by dingy and they proceeded to shake him down.
They threatened to fine us an exorbitant amount, impound the boat, etc. because we didn't go directly to the customs office on arrival.

The captain told us that what we did was common practice, and that he had never had issues prior. The customs officers repeatedly pulled out the book and read the statute to him.



Ultimately, we had to pay them off. This process took about 3 hrs.

What a racket!!



Beware of JVD Customs!


Well, that should help tourism.
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Old 19-03-2024, 05:16   #3
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Clearly your Captain was incorrect and your animosity should have been directed at him. The British Virgin’s Customs are known to be sticklers and should have been contacted for permission prior to taking any liberties with their requirements.
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Old 19-03-2024, 05:22   #4
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

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Clearly your Captain was incorrect and your animosity should have been directed at him. The British Virgin’s Customs are known to be sticklers and should have been contacted for permission prior to taking any liberties with their requirements.

They took a bribe, Jim. Is that police protocol?
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Old 19-03-2024, 06:22   #5
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

I'm a bit confused by the sequence of events described in the OP. Captain went to customs office by dinghy but was fined because you didn't go direct to the customs office? What exactly did you do that you should not have done (or vice versa)?

Different country, but we've been in/out of a dozen customs offices in Mexico over the last 6 months. Although each is part of the same governmental entity, they all operate independently. The process has varies widely. We make it a habit to hail the port captain whenever there is one even though they rarely respond.

I'm the US, boaters have great freedom of movement without alerting authorities. That simply isn't the case in the cast majority of countries. The local authorities what to know who is coming and going and where/when exactly.

Was this a bribe or a fine? I know it matted your vacation - hope as time passes the sting fades.
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Old 19-03-2024, 07:16   #6
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Hard to judge anything hearing only one side of the story particularly when that one side is confusing. We”ve been to JVD numerous time with no problem.
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Old 19-03-2024, 07:33   #7
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Where were you coming from? Any stops along the way? (they will track AIS).

Only the captain is supposed to go to customs, so you were right to stay on the boat.

If you were singled out, perhaps it was because the captain has a history.
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Old 19-03-2024, 07:33   #8
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urotex View Post
I'm still pissed about the shakedown we got from Customs at JVD.
We found a Mooring Ball near the SDB with plans to moor and send the captain over to Customs by dingy so the kids could stay on the boat until we cleared customs. As soon as we caught the ball, the JVD Customs patrol boat made a beeline for us.

The captain went over to the Customs office by dingy and they proceeded to shake him down.
They threatened to fine us an exorbitant amount, impound the boat, etc. because we didn't go directly to the customs office on arrival.

The captain told us that what we did was common practice, and that he had never had issues prior. The customs officers repeatedly pulled out the book and read the statute to him.

Ultimately, we had to pay them off. This process took about 3 hrs.

What a racket!!

Beware of JVD Customs!


Seemingly, "common practice" was not proper practice.

Hooking up to a mooring ball before clearing customs / immigration appears to have been unacceptable sequence of actions.

The Custom Officers found it necessary to repeatedly read the statute(s). Specifically, which part of their law was violated? That would seem to be action / inaction that should be the point of discussion needing to have been properly resolved.

Sounds like the Captain bent / broke the rules and there were consequences. Suggest taking such up with the Captain.
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Old 19-03-2024, 08:51   #9
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

A one-sided story indeed. Nothing more than a whinge, really, being the first, and so far only, post from a new member of our forum.

Before granting the whinge a lot of credence I should like to know who “the captain” was. Was “the captain” the pater familias or a paid, professional captain?

Can we take it for granted that “the captain” had “done his homework” and familiarized himself in detail with the entry requirements for the BVI?

Do we perhaps discern a sense of (mistaken) “entitlement” rooted in national arrogance here?

Can we take it for granted that the poster is distinguishing with the precision a “reasonable man” would employ between a "shakedown" by a corrupt functionary and the imposition of a fine by a duly authorized one?

TrentePieds
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Old 19-03-2024, 09:05   #10
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

BVI's rates as the worst possible check-in anywhere in the world. The officers were arrogant, discourteous and inconsistent. As a visiting yacht I would avoid the BVI's.
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Old 19-03-2024, 11:15   #11
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Isn't the Customs office in a totally different bay than the SDB mooring you picked up? SDB is in White Bay and Customs is in Great Bay. It's not like the mooring ball is even in sight of the Customs office.
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Old 19-03-2024, 13:19   #12
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

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Isn't the Customs office in a totally different bay than the SDB mooring you picked up? SDB is in White Bay and Customs is in Great Bay. It's not like the mooring ball is even in sight of the Customs office.
Ring, Ring. And the winner is Ohdrinkboy.

Yes the Soggy Dollar Bar is located in White Bay and the designated port of entry for customs and immigration clearance is the Great Harbour.

Entering a country at other than a designated port of entry is against the law.



They should have arrived at the Great Harbour, flying a Q flag, and cleared customs and immigration so as to be given Free Pratique and then they could have shifted to the west into White Bay to take a mooring and lowered the Q flag.

Taking up a mooring in White Bay before resolving Free Pratique would be an obvious reason the C & I boat to have immediately headed toward them to enforce proper clearance upon entry to the BVI.

Pretty sure a standard fine was imposed for improper clearance procedures, and / or a charge for an after hours clearance of C & I. And yes, the boat could have been impounded and all on board detained / deported for illegal entry.

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Old 19-03-2024, 13:58   #13
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

I'll add something really cranky here, which is that, if the OP's is a correct reflection of what happened, well, my skipper knew all this [stated above by <montanan>], and told me about it, before ever leaving our country of origin. And that is how it is for skippers, no matter their nation of origin. The hypothetical skipper in this incident, may have thought he could "get away with it," but if it took 3 hrs., it sounds like they were pretty polite, and he didn't like the outcome.

We cruisers are guests in others' countries. The customs are different. As guests, we should follow their rules, in a friendly & respectful way, including dress.

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Old 19-03-2024, 14:03   #14
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

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We cruisers are guests in others' countries. The customs are different. As guests, we should follow their rules, in a friendly & respectful way, including dress.

Ann
I hear complaints about Mexican Aduana and processing all the time. "Why do we have to check in and out wherever we go?" Or complains about paperwork. Or complaints about why things are not automated. Or how in efficient the process is. Or the rules are different everywhere I go. Or the port captains office isn't convenient.

My response is a variation of what my dad used to say "Their house. Their rules.". It's part of the charm of cruising.
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Old 19-03-2024, 14:16   #15
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Re: Jost Van Dyke Customs Shakedown

Doesn't sound like things have changed in Jost Van Dyke. Years ago I went there to check in and arrived about 10 am. The customs man was not in the office. After waiting 3 hours, I went back to the boat. He showed up at 4 and gave me the ya di ya about the rules.
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