Clearing in and out (Hypothetically) - SailNet Community

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Old 10-24-2011
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Clearing in and out (Hypothetically)

Here is the scheme.
You own a home on the water in let's say Alabama. You decide to go on vacation so you hop in your boat and sail to Cancun, and spend a week then to Guatemala and spend a week.
You show up and check into Mexico and check out on time. Then you go to Guatemala and check in then check out when you leave.
Then head to your home in the States in Alabama.

Do you have to check in when you get there? And what will happen if you don't?

I was wondering if you can come and go as you please or do you have to check in. What laws are you breaking by not checking in going directly home?
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Old 10-24-2011
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You have to check in.

Why? Well it is the law AND Homeland Security is not a micky mouse outfit and will have been tracking you.
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Old 10-24-2011
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Either you check IN and OUT the way that the authorities deamnd in EACH country, or you risk being jailed and fined in all of them.

You know the line form Dirty Harry? "How lucky do you feel today!?"

But if you feel lucky, all borders are porous and can be crossed without filing anything. Just be aware of the penalties if you don't pull that off perfectly.
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1) They will be tracking you.

2) Government exchange information among themselves.
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Old 10-25-2011
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I know you have to check in or out but I was just wondering what would happen if you went directly to your home instead. Sounds like you would get a smuggling charge or something against you.
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Not a smuggling charge unless you're smuggling, a proud tradition in most coastlines of the world. But illegal entry, violation of a bunch of statutes...a thorough drug and cavity search, possible confiscation of the vessel...Those ten-dollar-an-hour boys get Real Upset if someone can show they're not doing their jobs properly. No sense of humour these days.

Ask ICS directly if you want to find out just what they can threaten you with. With or without a boat.
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I just checked noonsite, and it appears that the fees for checking in/out and cruising permits are going higher. Like for some countries $2000 for a 3 month permit for a 30+ foot boat. That sounds kinda high. I know the Bahamas wants $300 now, and several surrounding islands want $500. What is the typical cost just for customs fees, for like a Florida to Venesuela cruise? or a CA to Phillipines cruise, assuming stopping at each islands paying all fees, and staying 1 week in each?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
I know you have to check in or out but I was just wondering what would happen if you went directly to your home instead. Sounds like you would get a smuggling charge or something against you.
You wouldn't get a smuggling charge unless you are smuggling.

You can be fined up to 10k and possible jail time for not checking back in to the U.S. They now want you to register before you leave on the local boater option. They make you buy a federal sticker for your boat. You can then call and check in, but they could still make you show up to a local office.
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It depends

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Not a smuggling charge unless you're smuggling, a proud tradition in most coastlines of the world. But illegal entry, violation of a bunch of statutes...a thorough drug and cavity search, possible confiscation of the vessel...Those ten-dollar-an-hour boys get Real Upset if someone can show they're not doing their jobs properly. No sense of humour these days.

Ask ICS directly if you want to find out just what they can threaten you with. With or without a boat.
Certainly you should check into and out of each country. When you go from country X to country Y the first thing that the officials in Y will ask for is your exit paper from X.

As to whether you can go to your own dock and then check from there - it will depend entirely on what local customs/immigration district have decided. The policies are regional rather than national. In New York harbor for example, the requirements are different if you check into New York state than New Jersey (pick Jersey, they are more reasonable). Best to contact the authorities before you leave so you know what to do on the way back.
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It can be very pricey for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
I just checked noonsite, and it appears that the fees for checking in/out and cruising permits are going higher. Like for some countries $2000 for a 3 month permit for a 30+ foot boat. That sounds kinda high. I know the Bahamas wants $300 now, and several surrounding islands want $500. What is the typical cost just for customs fees, for like a Florida to Venesuela cruise? or a CA to Phillipines cruise, assuming stopping at each islands paying all fees, and staying 1 week in each?
The cost depends on where you are. In the last two years we have visited about 25 countries and the fees have ranged from zero to around $500. Typically the French islands (Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Marten, and French Polynesia) were the cheapest and easiest and formerly Spanish places (Panama, Ecuador, Chile) were the most expensive and had worst bureaucracies - along with Monserrat and Fiji. In some places you need to use an agent (mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos which operate independently); in other places people frequently use an agent because it is easier (Panama Canal and Tahiti). The cost of the agent will be $150 to $300 plus the fees. In Suva, Fiji, they had discovered that their laws allowed for visiting vessels to need fumigation. In previous years perhaps half a dozen boats had to be fumigated (perhaps because they needed it) while this year in about two weeks close to ten boats were hit. This bumped the cost of entry there to more than $700.

If you check my blog listed below there are a couple of postings of our cruising costs including government charges so you can see what they were (by month not be country). It is not a minor part of the cost of cruising to be sure as you can see. BTW, you likely will spend much more than a week in the countries you visit. The charge does not increase (you get varying permits 20 days in the Galapagos to a year in Australia in our case.
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