Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pacific side of Panama
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Re: Legalities or "non-sailing problems" with sailing to the Bahamas
You just show up at immigrations/customs at a port of entry and say "Hi." you need passports, ships papers, the correct amount of money, your own pen and a smile. Usually easier 9-4 Monday to Friday.
The boat should be flying a yellow Q flag and you should have a courtesy flag of the nation you visit.
Pets are often a significant complication.
Except in Mexico, guns usually are not a problem if declared.
Only the skipper should leave the boat until you are all cleared
Usually done more easily, especially in the Bahamas, by putting the boat in the nearest marina to the customs office.
We have done it in 30 countries. Usually do-it-yourself but some countries like Columbia insist you use an agent, preferably the Custom officer's cousin.
Cost is anything from free to $300 plus in the Bahamas but at least there you do not need an agent.
My favorite check in is in Grenada...you do it at the Yacht Club and I drink two beers while my wife checks in next to the bar. Try that in Antigua and the fine is $1,000 US.
Noonsite is invaluable.
Last edited by Yorksailor; 09-03-2013 at 08:10 AM.