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Old 05-01-2020, 17:33   #1
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Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

We're planning to cross into the Bahamas at the next weather window, then continue into the Caribbean over the next several months. Other than a valid US passport, is there any other documentation I should carry? Birth Certificate? Shot record?
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Old 05-01-2020, 17:51   #2
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

All we have ever been asked for is a COPY of our registration.

We have been to most islands once, quite a few twice.

French islands are a snap, check in at a computer. Most other islands are about like coming into the USA. Kinda a PITA but not a big deal.

DR is an exception, bit still not a big deal once you have done it. Took 2 days but no pressure. Just kinda wander by and make sure it’s done. If they are not there come back.

At SABA we eventually left without full exit clearance. That was the only real hassle we had. Immigration or customs, can’t recall which, was not around with no indication of when they would be back, that day or the next. We finally said “screw it” and left, checked in at Antigua next, no issues.

That has been our sole irregularity.
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Old 05-01-2020, 18:57   #3
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

Exact procedures vary a bit by country, but passports, ships papers (registration), crew list, and clearance document from last port of call. Thats all the paperwork you are likely to be asked for anywhere.

One variation is what they do and do not want copies of. I just keep plenty of copies of all the above in a folio which is stowed in a waterproof documents pouch...this keeps it all organized and dry for trips ashore to visit officials.
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Old 16-01-2020, 18:52   #4
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

Yep, registration can be state registration or USGS documentation. We cleared at Puerto Plata, DR at Marine World Marina and the marina had a handler/interpreter - very easy. DR wants you to check in / check out of each port. PR/USVIs you use the ROAM app on your smartphone/tablet. French islands are laissez-faire. Always best to check out and get your zarpe/exit papers. We have occasionally been asked for dinghy registration.

With regard to customs/duty, the answer is "We have ship's stores." No spare parts, items of value, large amounts of cash. You are NOT working from the boat for any US-based business.

Firearms follow a different flow chart and we do not have any.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 16-01-2020, 19:10   #5
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

What flag should you fly as a green card holder (not citizen) when state registered?
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Old 16-01-2020, 20:02   #6
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

The flag you fly is for the boat, not you. It doesnt matter that you have a green card.
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Old 18-01-2020, 15:52   #7
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

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Originally Posted by Oceansailor View Post
What flag should you fly as a green card holder (not citizen) when state registered?
Typically State registered boats fly a USA flag.

As pointed out above, the citizenship/immigration status of those aboard and/or the owner is not relevant. The flag follows the country of registration of the boat.
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Old 18-01-2020, 15:59   #8
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

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Originally Posted by La Vie Dansante View Post
We're planning to cross into the Bahamas at the next weather window, then continue into the Caribbean over the next several months. Other than a valid US passport, is there any other documentation I should carry? Birth Certificate? Shot record?


I travel with health insurance, fbi crime report, health certificate , apostille stamped birth certificate and photo copies of passport
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:19   #9
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

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I travel with health insurance, fbi crime report, health certificate , apostille stamped birth certificate and photo copies of passport
Wow, other than passport copies Ive never been asked for any of those when clearing...only when applying for residency/work permit.
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:32   #10
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Wow, other than passport copies Ive never been asked for any of those when clearing...only when applying for residency/work permit.

You donít need them to check in..you need them for life

FBI crime report protects you against drugs...crew

The medivac helicopter , emergency service needs health insurance

Stamped photo copies of identity paper are handy when you primary documents are stolen
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Old 18-01-2020, 16:46   #11
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Re: Customs and Immigration Doc Requirements in the Carib?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Wow, other than passport copies Ive never been asked for any of those when clearing...only when applying for residency/work permit.

You donít need them to check in..you need them for life

FBI crime report helps protect you against drugs carried by crew

The medivac helicopter , emergency service needs health insurance

Stamped photo copies are handy when you primary documents are stolen or withheld by corrupt officials
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