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Old 06-18-2013
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Bahamian Customs Seizure - Pleasure Vessel - Any Experience?

Anyone out there have any experience with getting a vessel released from Bahamian Customs? I'm working to recover a stolen vessel that is currently tagged in a marina in the Bahamas, and am weighing the relative costs and benefits of bringing it back to the US versus selling it there. Vessel is flagged in the US.

I can't give many more details than that, but I am merely interested in whether anyone has gone through the process and knows what I can expect to encounter in terms of court-imposed "penalties", "fees", or just plain old-fashioned bribes haha.

thanks in advance

Adam
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Bahamian Customs Seizure - Pleasure Vessel - Any Experience?

I have had good experience with Bahamas Customs regarding problems with a cruising permit and with paying the 10% import fee. Just be up front with them and tell the truth and don't try to BS them cuz they've heard it all from boat owners. It's their country and they can be a PITA if the want to be. Do not try bribes but do compliment them on being helpful.
If you want to sell it there, go on _ebay and find about 10 similar vessels with "buy it now" amounts and average them. This is the amount they will want you to pay the 10% on. Give this info to customs and they will generally agree to this.
Remember, treat them well because you want these people to be your friends.
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Bahamian Customs Seizure - Pleasure Vessel - Any Experience?

Frogwatch

Thank you much for the quick reply. Just to be clear, I am not trying to scam customs or bribe them in anyway. My employer is handling the recovery of the vessel and I am just trying to get an idea of what to expect from Customs in terms of statutory penalties and fees. There is no line-item for paying bribes to our client haha. Bahamian attorneys don't want to fill us in on the details until we pay them a hefty retainer, which may not be in our best interests depending on the costs to legitimately have the vessel released and all storage claims paid.

I definitely don't want to get a bad name on here, or in the area generally. I'm just looking for experiences, which I appreciate you sharing.

Thanks again

Adam
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Bahamian Customs Seizure - Pleasure Vessel - Any Experience?

How about just ask the customs office?
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Re: Bahamian Customs Seizure - Pleasure Vessel - Any Experience?

Chuckles R

I agree. Often the simplest solution is to use that archane ringing box on our desk and ask the question directly. This has been tried with limited success. Just curious of any past experience on this site. Thank you for your reply
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