The "outbound" paperwork is not a problem. All you need is are invoices for the items in the shipment which virtually all marine
supply stores can supply. West Marine
ships their stuff to anywhere in the world as does Defender and even "mom & pop" marine stores. Marine Warehouse in Miami
is an excellent outfit for getting just about anything for your small or medium size sail/power boat
and will ship it to your location world-wide.
- - The hassles arise on the receiving end. There are islands and countries that do not recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" exceptions for Customs Duties and will charge you from 10% to 100% or more on the value of the shipment and the costs of shipping and insurance
. There are other islands/countries that are "free-ports" or do recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" and will not charge you Duty on the shipment.
- - Places like the US Virgins/Puerto Rico are part of the USA so shipments from the USA can be sent via US Postal Service
or UPS or whatever and the whole operation is considered "inside the borders of the USA" so there is no complications about "Customs Duties" what-so-ever.
- - There are islands/countries like Sint Maarten that are "free-ports" and the inbound paperwork and duties are negligible or non-existent.
- - There are islands/countries like Trinidad, Grenada
, and others that recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" where you can avoid the Customs Duty on the items shipped but paperwork must be filed according to their procedures and that usually involves employing an "agent."
- - And then there are islands/countries like the D.R. and others where they charge you Customs Duty and "fees" that can double or triple the cost of the item shipped to you. These situations are to be avoided at all costs by making sure you have "spare parts" onboard to get you and your vessel to a more economical place to receive parts
. There are "work-arounds" and techniques to ameliorate the problems and costs of getting parts
in these places that you can learn from those cruisers who are long-timers there.
- - In "inbound" paperwork can only be done inside the receiving island/country and if the opportunity to move the boat to a neighboring island/country with simple or no hassles, it is very much "worth" the effort especially with large, expensive or heavy items.