Clearance Procedures exiting USA - Caribbean - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 09-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Cool Clearance Procedures exiting USA - Caribbean

We are planning to take our US registered boat with all US crew out of US waters for the first time end Oct/Early November - and head from Moorhead City, NC to Antigua.

To clear customs in Antigua we need to have our clearance papers from our prior country / port (i.e. the USA). I've no idea what clearance papers look like, or if it simply takes the form of a stamp in our log book. I assume I'll be able to get the appropriate documentation at Moorhead city, and I assume I can just call the CBP at Moorhead city and have them come down and visit our boat. However I can't find any information on the Customs and Border Patrol web site.

If anyone has got such a clearance from Moorhead city in the last couple of years - can you tell me any details? Where did they board you? How long do you have before you MUST leave once you have the clearance papers? What paperwork is involved? and more importantly is this a couple of hours effort or a several day exercise?

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post #2 of Old 09-28-2008
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No clearance out from the USA is necessary if you are a US registered boat.
Be sure to get your Re-entry decal before you leave!
User Fee Decals and Transponders - CBP.gov

The only things you will need in Antigua are your documentation for the boat and your passports. They will give you the entry paperwork at the customs/immigration office. When you clear out of Antigua you will need clearance papers from the same office. Usually you obtain those papers a few hours before you actually depart. Easy and informal but dress neatly and be polite and friendly and it will be even easier. Should take 20 minutes each way in and out.
Coming back into the US to a PORT of ENTRY...you call the customs phone number and give them your decal number...they will then either come to the boat OR direct you to show up at their office with passports within 24 hours which may involve a cab ride and some time but the processing itself goes quickly.

Am I correct in assuming that you are planning on taking the Gemini offshore to Antigua? Please keep us posted on the trip.

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post #3 of Old 09-28-2008 Thread Starter
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Are you sure?

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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
No clearance out from the USA is necessary if you are a US registered boat.
...
The only things you will need in Antigua are your documentation for the boat and your passports.
Thanks for the info camaraderie - however I'm still uncertain. I have a 2005 (most recent) cruising guide to the leeward islands by Stepehn J Pavlidis - that states clearly Clearance from you last port MUST be produced, and I read on a different web site (which I can't find now) that they will turn you around if you don;t have such a clearance. Even noonsite indicates I need clearance papers from the prior port.

I know the USA does not require me to clear out, but if Antigua requires that document for me to enter, I want to have one (Unless you are speaking from experience - and you are sure I don't need one?)

And yes :-) We are taking the Gemini 105Mc - We've been working up to longer and longer offshore passages - although this will be our most adventurous to date. We are comfortable we have all the experience and safety equipment to make it a fun passage, and that the boat is good and sound. I'll put a link to our blog on my profile - and once I know for sure what was needed (if anything) I'll update here...

Aside - I posted a question first on the CBP web site - they say don't expect to receive a reply until 2-3 months! SO I REALLY appreciate you fast response camaraderie. Now if only SailNet managed the country too!

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LOL!
Well...if you don't get a satisfactory answer before it is time to leave, you could drop by Bermuda and get clearance out from there! Or pull into the BVI's or USVI's first. You don't really want to miss those anyway and the BVI clearance papers are really pretty!
Have fun with the prep and safe travels. Will look forward to tracking your blog. Your yotreps says you are in Norfolk so I assume you will head south from there. If you take the alternate ICW down the Pamlico sound in NC, stop by Manteo on Roanoke Island. Free overnight tie ups here (no electric) and only 38 miles from Coinjock and you can SAIL to Oriental instead of motoring! Here's a quick chart...click to enlarge.
http://xpda.com/nauticalcharts/12205...0INSET%201.png

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Cam-

when you say US registered boat in post #2, you're actually talking about a USCG documented boat, yes??

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Yes...documented by USCG which is necessary when you leave the country to most places anyway.

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Just wanted to clarify, since states register, USCG DOCUMENTS.

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I knew YOU knew that. Guilty as charged.

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Slacker...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #10 of Old 09-28-2008
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The magic word is "Zarpa"...

As Cam says you probably won't need it for Antigua, BUT I always got one when leaving US waters (which was mostly from Puerto Rico). Customs generally have a word document (Moorhead City, NC might have to do a search for one), but they do exist. Add lots of official looking rubber stamps and you are good to go. The more Latin the destination the more important the Zarpa.

Fair Winds

Gerry

ps. Why are you planning to miss all the good bits in between NC and Antigua??



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