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Old 31-07-2012, 11:42   #1
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Bahamas Cruising Permit Question

We recently bought a boat in Florida and sailed it through the Bahamas to our home in the Turks and Caicos Islands. We cleared into the Bahamas at West End, and I was surprised that they only gave us permission to stay for two months. I had heard that the cruising permit was good for a year.

In any case, we paid our $300 and worked our way down to the TCI. We left Calabash Bay on Long Island and intended to stop in Clarence Town. But when we radioed the marina there they were full. So we kept going. We pulled into Abrahams Bay on Mayaguana for about three hours, and then decided to keep going. It was already dark, and we didn't think to try to contact Customs there. This was our first such trip.

We had no probs getting our cruising permit for the TCI, even though we are residents here. They didn't ask for any paperwork from our last stop in the Bahamas.

My question is whether or not we should have done anything with these two immigration cards when we left the Bahamas. I still don't understand the cruisng permit thing there. A year for the boat but only two months for the people on it? WHats up with that?
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Old 31-07-2012, 12:32   #2
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Re: Bahamas cruising permit question

The two months is from immigration and it pertains to those on the boat. You can re-new the immigration papers near their expiry date. The cruising permit is for the boat. Used to be they'd give you six months on entry but there seems to be some confusion in applying the law and the last two years most cruisers have only been getting three months on entry.

If you check the Bahamas Govt. site you'll see that, under certain conditions, you can re-enter the Bahamas without paying the cruising permit fee if you're within the one year period.

About the immigration arrival card, I think technically you're supposed to return it to Immigration but I have yet to meet a cruiser who does that. If you look at the card, one side is "Immigration Arrival Card". The other side is ""Departure Card." All from memory as I mailed our cards back after departure.
Rick I
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Old 31-07-2012, 12:39   #3
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Re: Bahamas cruising permit question

You are supposed to mail the immigration cards back to the Bahamas after you depart. Who knows how many cruisers actually do that.

The cruising permit is for the boat for one year. The boat can stay in the Bahamas for one year without having to pay duty. Customs issues the cruising permit.

Immigration gave you, a person, two months and that can be extended at any Immigration office usually very close to the expiration date. Some folks get 30 days other folks get a year. That has been a problem with Bahamas Immigration for several years now. Time given varies from place to place to place and from day to day in the same place.
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