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Old 23-08-2017, 18:32   #1
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Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Hi I'm posting this on behalf of my Son who is on route from Vancouver to Australia on his 1958 wooden Baltic Cutter.
He has so far travelled to Hawaii and has just passed Howland Island in the central Pacific. He is onto his next waypoint ( Tuvalu). He only has a Sat Phone for coms and can only phone or send short emails from it.
I'm tasked with getting him the customs requirements to enter Tuvalu but I cannot find much in the way of contact phone numbers or forms that might be required to be sent in advance of their arrival which maybe within a week.
Has anyone had experience of entering in recent times or am I guessing that you just arrive, flying the Q Flag and present yourself in person with passports and documents?
Cheers.
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Old 24-08-2017, 05:52   #2
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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Originally Posted by SidsDad View Post
Hi I'm posting this on behalf of my Son who is on route from Vancouver to Australia on his 1958 wooden Baltic Cutter.
He has so far travelled to Hawaii and has just passed Howland Island in the central Pacific. He is onto his next waypoint ( Tuvalu). He only has a Sat Phone for coms and can only phone or send short emails from it.
I'm tasked with getting him the customs requirements to enter Tuvalu but I cannot find much in the way of contact phone numbers or forms that might be required to be sent in advance of their arrival which maybe within a week.
Has anyone had experience of entering in recent times or am I guessing that you just arrive, flying the Q Flag and present yourself in person with passports and documents?
Cheers.
in funafuti,just go in and tie up behind the big ship dock in the tiny port if there is not too much swell from the lagoon,which can happen with winds out the west,otherwise anchor off the port,but quite deep ~120 ft if i remember correctly.
we stayed along side for a week,no charge,but had a few days where we had to tie stern too with anchors out due to swell in the port.

health and customs will come to the boat,customs office is a short walk up the pier.
immigration is in the center of the small town,next to the hotel.
i think there was a US$20 charge for clearance,and $50 departure tax for crew flying out.

very nice friendly people,you will probably get invited to drink toddy(coconut wine)by the chief of customs.

the main town ,shops and bank are quite a distance from the port,so we were able to hire a scooter for about $5 a day which made life a lot easier.
at that time there was no ATM so a bank transfer would be needed if you do not have sufficient cash.

internet was available at the hotel or at coconuts telegraph email cafe

i have been following the wench's progress on youtube ,sounds like they are having fun,though i hope they have made some provision financially if they intend importing the boat into aus.
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Old 24-08-2017, 13:21   #3
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Thanks for that Atoll, I'm hoping to find out if there are any ATMs now and also if credit cards are used?
I will see if I can use the power of Mr Google to check it out.
Cheers.
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Old 24-08-2017, 13:40   #4
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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Thanks for that Atoll, I'm hoping to find out if there are any ATMs now and also if credit cards are used?
I will see if I can use the power of Mr Google to check it out.
Cheers.
here is a picture of the dock/port area where we tied up.
also i seem to remember the bank was westpac,though it shouldn't be too difficult to find out as there is only one bank!
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Old 24-08-2017, 16:57   #5
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Thanks again Atoll, can you recall when this was? What time of year etc? What's the availability of diesel?
Cheers
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Old 24-08-2017, 17:51   #6
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bank_of_Tuvalu

Money in Tuvalu, South Pacific
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Old 24-08-2017, 18:10   #7
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Thanks Alan, I have discovered that the only reasonable way to do things would be for me to send wire Aussie Dollars to the NBT Bank so he can pick it up in cash.
Thanks very much for your interest and help.
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Old 24-08-2017, 18:32   #8
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Have you worked through the entry for Tuvalu on Noonsite.com —

Tuvalu —

Funafuti —

Tuvalu —
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Old 24-08-2017, 18:35   #9
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

I'd also suggest you monitor Bob McDavitt's weekly blog for his take on weather in the S Pacific and his suggestions on when to tackle various of the passages:

https://metbob.wordpress.com/
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Old 24-08-2017, 21:41   #10
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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Thanks again Atoll, can you recall when this was? What time of year etc? What's the availability of diesel?
Cheers
this was june 2010 on a delivery from hawaii to bundaberg via kanton island and port vila.

diesel was available in quantity in drums on the dock where we tied up,it was just a matter of asking the customs or port captain and they would organise a delivery.

for smaller quantities,or 2 stroke oil, petrol and kerosene there is a hut at the side of the road just before the town that sells direct from drums.

water was also available,but in limited supply from rainwater tanks,the chief of customs was kind enough to allow us to fill jugs from tanks at his home just across the road from the port.

VB beer was sold at the hotel and the restuarant behind the airport building@ aus $ 2 a can
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Old 28-08-2017, 16:36   #11
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Hi again, Coming from the North ( Hawaii) which is the best/ easiest entrance to The Lagoon at Tuvalu?
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Old 28-08-2017, 17:17   #12
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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Hi again, Coming from the North ( Hawaii) which is the best/ easiest entrance to The Lagoon at Tuvalu?
8d26'17.33" S 179d08'22.78" E

That worked for me 5 years ago.

Money and phones are a big problem in Tuvalu.

Money must be physically delivered as cash via airplane: Australia dollars are best. There is no way to use plastic in any way. There is no such thing as a wire transfer to or from Tuvalu.

The phone system is dial -- while some physical units have buttons, pushing the buttons causes pulses, not tones. Therefore, there is no way to navigate any telephone menu, as all require tones. There is no way to generate tones. So the only way to phone someone is to know a direct line: no airline reservation lines can be accessed. No bank can be accessed. I bet there is no way to reach any US government service.

The only reasonable way to use a phone is to use something like Skype over WiFi. There is WiFi at the bar next to the airport terminal.
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Old 28-08-2017, 17:23   #13
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

Hopefully he checked out of Hawaii. Many US boaters think checking out from the USA is optional, but Tuvalu really, REALLY expects you to do so before coming to Tuvalu. If he did not, he may have a bit of trouble. However, the people in Tuvalu are amazingly friendly and positive, so I am sure there will be no long term issues.
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Old 28-08-2017, 17:58   #14
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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8d26'17.33" S 179d08'22.78" E

That worked for me 5 years ago.

Money and phones are a big problem in Tuvalu.

Money must be physically delivered as cash via airplane: Australia dollars are best. There is no way to use plastic in any way. There is no such thing as a wire transfer to or from Tuvalu.

The phone system is dial -- while some physical units have buttons, pushing the buttons causes pulses, not tones. Therefore, there is no way to navigate any telephone menu, as all require tones. There is no way to generate tones. So the only way to phone someone is to know a direct line: no airline reservation lines can be accessed. No bank can be accessed. I bet there is no way to reach any US government service.

The only reasonable way to use a phone is to use something like Skype over WiFi. There is WiFi at the bar next to the airport terminal.
[QUOTE=u4ea32;2466552]8d26'17.33" S 179d08'22.78" E
T

hat worked for me 5 years ago.

Hi
Thanks for the quick reply, things must have changed a bit from when you were last there as there is now two Western Union places in Funafuti. Yesterday I sent money from the Oz post office. It turned out it was pretty simple, after filling out the form and giving his address as his boat c/o Funafuti Harbour. He just has to rock up with his passport and he gives the reference number I received to access the cash.
I have sent your coordinates to my son and I will see what he thinks. I have found it a bit difficult to find out which passage in is the best one, there appears no real info! I'm hoping your info is enough to guide him in.
Most other destinations have a number to call at customs and they give the advice
Thanks again
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Old 28-08-2017, 18:01   #15
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Re: Requirements for Entering Tuvalu

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Hopefully he checked out of Hawaii. Many US boaters think checking out from the USA is optional, but Tuvalu really, REALLY expects you to do so before coming to Tuvalu. If he did not, he may have a bit of trouble. However, the people in Tuvalu are amazingly friendly and positive, so I am sure there will be no long term issues.
Yes he did check out correctly as he also did on leaving BC,
Thanks for The memory jogger though.
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