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Old 05-28-2010
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Clearing customs questions

Newbie here. We have a bareboat charter in mid-June out of St. Martin (Marigot). This our first time to this region. Only have 1 week but would like to see Anguilla & St. Barts while there. Night #1 will be at the charter's marina. Day#2 we sail to Anguilla for 2 night's anchorage.
1.)Can we clear in and out of Anguilla at the same time (assuming a 2 night stay)
2.)Will Anguillan authorities want to see any 'cleared out' papers I got by clearing out of St. Martin?
3.)How does these authorities keep track of all this?

4.)On Night #3 we would like to moor at Ile Pinel near Orient Beach for one night then off to St. Barts. I don't think there are customs offices in Orient Beach area however. How do the authorities know whether I am viably 'cleared' to be in St. Martin or not. Afterall, St. Martin is where I started.

BTW. All my prior sail experiences have been confined to the BVI, hence my ignorance.
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Old 05-28-2010
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You do need to clear out of St Martin.

In Anguilla you can clear in/out at the same time, but only if you stay 24 hours or less. I can't remember if they want to see your papers from clearing out of St Martin. Some ports ask for your prior papers, but some prior ports (i.e. the US) don't require that you clear out, so you can just tell them that you don't have them. But you will have them from clearing out of St Martin.

The customs people know if you are following the rules when they stop by your boat and ask to see your papers. If they don't come, then you don't have to worry. If they come and you are breaking the rules, then you pay fines in the thousands of dollars. If you anchor and don't go to shore, you should be able to stay for 24 hours. As soon as you go to shore, you are supposed to be on your way to customs (if not cleared in already).

They keep track of it by using computer application software and databases.
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Old 05-28-2010
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I've discuss this with the company you're chartering from. They may limit the areas to which you can take their boats. If Anguilla is in their approved cruising area, they will be able to give you all the info for customs/immigration, which will likely include ships papers they will have to supply.
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Old 05-30-2010
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As far as I know, the only country that doesn't issue a clearing out form is the US, and they will do so if asked (it is the same form as you fill out when clearing in, with a note regarding clearing out - I've done that before). In the Caribbean the only way to clear in without an appropriate form is by stating you came from the USVI.
Clearing into St. Barths is very informal and takes about 10-15 minutes, depending upon how well you get along with the French keyboard and French nomenclature in the drop-down menus, as they now have 3 PCs where you can enter your information using the same program that is used in St. Martin. At St. Barths they have folders with information on boats from all the charter companies in the area to make things easier and quicker.
On my last trip from Antigua to the BVI last week I was buzzed by a Coast Guard plane twice over the course of a couple of hours and I'm sure my data was checked and passed to the BVI; when I cleared in I noticed them cross-check my boat name on a piece of paper in the back of the room (I've since read that a major drug bust went down and they were probably at a heightened state of alert).

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Old 05-30-2010
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My wife now carries a thumb drive to customs as more and more of the islands have adopted a computerized form. Last time we went to St. Barth's all she had to do was insert the thumb drive and transfer the data. You will need Euros, if they still exist, or a credit card.
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Old 06-01-2010
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Call the Harbourmaster on VHF channel 16 on arrival to arrange clearance.

Anchor and take dinghy to dinghy dock. Clear first with Immigration, at the police station near the dinghy dock, then with Customs who can be found by the big ship dock; open 0830-1200, 1300-1600. Because of the serious concern over drug traffic, yachts must be sure to clear in properly. Failure to do so could result in a fine, and the boat being confiscated. They will want to see your St Martin clearance. 10 minutes on the computer in the Capitanerie and 3 euros.

Inform the authorities if wishing to go anywhere outside of Road Bay as a cruising permit will be necessary. Since most other anchorages/moorings are in a marine park, a daily fee is payable. I think it is currently $100 a day Expensive!

If staying less than 24 hours, one can clear customs in and out at the same time. A departure tax of US$3 per person is payable.
[Taken from noonsite.]

If you go to Anguilla be sure to ask about their "war" with St Kitts.

If you are going to Ile de Pinel make sure that you have good light as it is one scary place to enter if the swell is up and it is windy. Why not anchor or pick up a mooring off Tintamarre instead, much easier and a lot less stressfull if conditions are poor. Fly the Q flag overnight and proceed next day.
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