Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-10-2020 Thread Starter
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Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Hello everyone - I do my rigging test sail on "Zanshin" this morning and if all goes well I will leave Annapolis tomorrow and have one last overnight at anchor (probably at Solomon's) and then head straight for Bermuda or as southerly as I can make it and then straight south to St. Martin.

But I need to clear out of the USA. I've been told that I can take my papers to BWI to do that, but I couldn't find any information online to support that. Has anyone done this or have knowledge of where to go in the airport?

The alternative is to do it at Hampton but I don't think that they are open on Sunday and my weather window is pretty tight, if I depart too late I'll lose the relatively good winds.


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post #2 of 37 Old 01-10-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

You don't clear out of the USA.

You just leave.

Its sounds crazy but thats what happens. Just leave. Make sure you get an entry stamp in your next port of call

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post #3 of 37 Old 01-10-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Mark - I might head straight to Antigua, so I need that form. I've cleared out of the USVI several times for the same reason - those Antiguans really need their paperwork from the last port. Alternatively I might clear into the Dutch side of St. Martin and they can be pretty meticulous as well. Anyway, the form is available online and I've filled it out, but now I just need to get a stamp on it.

Plus I think I need to "relinquish" my cruising permit as well.


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Last edited by Zanshin; 01-10-2020 at 08:32 AM. Reason: Added text
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-10-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

All US citizens just leave and have no paperwork to prove it was their last port. Not sure about your situation. I don't think you must surrender your cruising permit, as it expires. I think you want to, if one is trying to get the clock restarted, by being out of the country for 15 days, or whatever the standard. Either way, it can't hurt, I suppose.

USCBP website has office listings, which I'm betting you checked. Logic would make me think you need to clear out down in Norfolk, unless you have no plans to layup between Annapolis and open water. Not sure.


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post #5 of 37 Old 01-10-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Mark - did you sail into St. Martin from the USA?
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-10-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Mark - I might head straight to Antigua, so I need that form. I've cleared out of the USVI several times for the same reason - those Antiguans really need their paperwork from the last port. Alternatively I might clear into the Dutch side of St. Martin and they can be pretty meticulous as well. Anyway, the form is available online and I've filled it out, but now I just need to get a stamp on it.

Plus I think I need to "relinquish" my cruising permit as well.
I have cleared into SXM direct from the USA with no Zarpe and they are fine. Everyone is fine with it because everyone knows you don't clear out of the USA.

But ring CBP on your reporting number and ask them
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Again, just intuitive, but having your old cruising permit with you might demonstrate where you were. Don't take my word for it. I suppose the stamp in your passport does the same.


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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

It does feel ulta weird.

There is a reason for it: You could stamp out... and then not actually go. Wheras at an airport when you stamp out the *know* you've gone because you go into a secure area and onto a plane with a manifest.


Similar with cruise ships... they stamp you out and you are into the secured area boarding the ship. they know you've gone.

But on a private sailing boat, you go to CBP in the bus, stamp out... then go to the pub, supermarket, catch a train to Texas... etc etc etc Theres no way the actually know youve left.

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post #9 of 37 Old 01-10-2020
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Safe Travels Zanshin. Hope all goes well.

See you around.

Daniel
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-10-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Clearing boat out of the USA in the Chesapeake

Thanks for the advice - I have such a tight schedule today to sort things out so that I don't miss my little weather-window. If Mark did it into St. Martin then I'll do the same. Last time I left I had to clear out in Norfolk because Jeanneau needed proof that the boat had left the country so they could get their VAT back, so when I arrived in St. Martin I did have paperwork.

I've got the SPOT set up and will get the page up and running that will show my location at 10 minute intervals while on passage - I'll start a separate thread once I have that working correctly.


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