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Old 09-03-2019, 07:37   #1
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Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Looking at the situation as a whole:

1) how is the fee environment changing for cruising yachts?
2) to what extent do you plan your travels to avoid high-fee areas?
3) do you find that fees are largely what you expect, or are there unplanned charges that you must be prepared to accept?

- Entry/Visa
- Exit
- Duty
- Cruising
- Fishing
- Radio licensing/Amateur radio reciprocity
- Anchoring
- Fines charged for reasons of revenue rather than to encourage compliance
- Facilitation payments
- Dinghy dockage
- Documentation/registration in your home port

Everyone has a story or two of bad experiences. I'm most interested in overall impressions over the long term.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:39   #2
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Entry/Visa
- Exit
- Duty
- Cruising
- Fishing
- Radio licensing/Amateur radio reciprocity
- Anchoring
- Fines charged for reasons of revenue rather than to encourage compliance
- Facilitation payments
- Dinghy dockage
- Documentation/registration in your home port
Just some observations:

At home (Great Lakes), the fee add-on's are really minor: registration is pretty inexpensive, the Port of Toronto demands $15 a year, the scoundrels... And there's overnight charges for tying up or anchoring in some spots. As club members we stay at reciprocal clubs whenever possible. There's lock charges on canals and going betwen lakes...

The Canadian boat operator's card (PCOC) is a one-time thing, mainly intended to ensure that the person has at least seen and was tested on the most basic boat operation rules. Nobody enforces the VHF Marine Operator's permit as far as I know. We don't usually fish so we don't have licences (or gear aboard)

These charges are mostly miniscule compared to the costs of ownership, insurance, maintenance and marina or club fees.

Quote:
Fines charged for reasons of revenue rather than to encourage compliance
I dunno, to me these are voluntary taxes like speeding tickets; if you educate yourself and do the minimum to comply, you don't have to pay'em.

We just came back from a BVI charter. There are of course a number of charges involved with that: cruising fee, parks permit, nightly fees for mooring balls if you use one. Again these charges are trivial compared to the charter costs, and given the amount of cruiser traffic in this small area and the maintenance required, they are more than reasonable, I think.

In total... to me, these "extra" charges haven't been onerous for us. To a more serious cruiser running on a tight budget I can see that they might become a burden, but considering how safe and accessible most of the world's cruising grounds are, and the wear and tear on the facilities and environment of more popular areas... it still seems reasonable and good value.
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Old 09-03-2019, 16:21   #3
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Fees are all over the place based on your nationality and what country you are entering. Popular high fee countries/islands include Galapagos, Australia, and the US(for non Canadian/US boats depending on how far you have to travel to get a visa).

It is just the cost of admission, sometimes enough to make you skip the place other times you just buck up.
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Old 09-03-2019, 17:14   #4
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Relevant to budget constraints, I guess if one really wants to go to a given location, you pay. Be it by boat, living aboard or airliner / hotel room. I suspect the airline and hotel costs for a week would dwarf the costs of arriving by yacht and clearing in at most locations, provided one uses ones anchor.

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Old 09-03-2019, 18:19   #5
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Here in the W Carib, fees havent changed substantially in many years.

Bureaucratic hassle varies quite a bit though, some cruisers now skip Belize because of it.

All other countries in the region are relatively low hassle & cost.

Panama for example is very low hassle and a 1 year cruising permit is $185.00.

Ive never avoided anywhere due to fees, but have bypassed a few places due to regulations. Example, we used to cruise with pets aboard and the Cayamans had rather ornerous pet regulations...so we sailed on by.
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Old 09-03-2019, 19:21   #6
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

We are full time cruisers and liveaboards with a cruising range from the Caribbean to the Canadian Maritimes.

The "fees" are so minor compared to the cost of keeping a boat, they barely show on our budget.

Boat Registration: $26/year

We have never been charged more than $300 for combined entry and exit fees, and that included a fishing license. (Six mont cruising permit for a 52 foot boat in the Bahamas)

Our fishing licenses are "free" because we catch far more fish that the permits cost.

Fees for anchoring are rare outside of parks.

We rarely pickup moorings, but they are cheap, less than US$50 a night anyplace we have been.

Never been fined--except for the time in the Chesapeake we got caught in our dinghy without our PFDs on aboard. US$95. I know better. My bad.

Never paid for dinghy dockage.

I don't know what a "facilitation payment" is. If you mean a bribe to officials, we have never paid or been asked for one.

It is possible we might come across a place we would avoid because of fees, but so far, our provisioning budget is way higher than any official fees.

You can whine and complain about the fees, or you can stay home, or you can just smile and realize that it is way cheaper than any other mode of travel.
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Old 10-03-2019, 04:53   #7
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Re: Cumulative effect of mandatory fees for permits, licenses, entry, exit, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
...

I don't know what a "facilitation payment" is. If you mean a bribe to officials, we have never paid or been asked for one.

...
Even here in Central America, where "facilitation fees" (AKA bribes) are common practice, Ive never been hit up for one for routine paperwork. If you have a little paper work issue to resolve most officials here are happy to assist for a little "propina" (tip).

I have used agents for various things and find that their fees are relatively modest and very much worthwhile. Agents have saved me far more than they have cost me, especially if you factor in the hassles they eliminate.
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