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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When arriving to Puerto Rico you must call
Customs to check in. If you use the small boaters
Option card, it's just a few minutes on the phone
Instead of an expensive can ride to customs.
What cruisers don't know that arriving from the USVI
To Puerto Rico YOU MUST AGAIN CALL OR CHECK
INTO CUSTOMS-FAILURE TO DO SO IS
PUNISHABLE BY A LARGE $20K FINE AND EVEN
JAIL TIME!!!
This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States. The UsVis
is an unincorporated territory, it is not part of the
USA like Puerto Rico is!!!
We didn't get the fine for failure to report to customs
But a written warning that stays on your record 1 year
So when in doubt about customs CALL!!
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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The procedures for checking into Puerto Rico are clearly documented here NOONSITE.

Some items worthy of note are the need for a visa if you do not have a US passport [except Canadians.] The visa waiver program does not apply to private yachts.

It is worth buying a cruising permit if you plan to change harbours/anchorages. If not you must pay everytime you do so.

US citizens on US flagged yachts can and should enroll in the local boater program.

Sailing in PR waters is complicated by the fact that there are four districts, North, South, East, and West and you are supposed to inform the authorities when you move from one district to another.

Finally boaters who have been used to the slightly less strict approach evident in much of the rest of the Caribbean need to be aware that the US Customs and Border Protection authorities in PR are likely to apply the rules to the letter.
 

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Freedom 39
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1,156 Posts
When arriving to Puerto Rico you must call
Customs to check in. If you use the small boaters
Option card, it's just a few minutes on the phone
Instead of an expensive can ride to customs.
What cruisers don't know that arriving from the USVI
To Puerto Rico YOU MUST AGAIN CALL OR CHECK
INTO CUSTOMS-FAILURE TO DO SO IS
PUNISHABLE BY A LARGE $20K FINE AND EVEN
JAIL TIME!!!
This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States. The UsVis
is an unincorporated territory, it is not part of the
USA like Puerto Rico is!!!
We didn't get the fine for failure to report to customs
But a written warning that stays on your record 1 year
So when in doubt about customs CALL!!
As mentioned, entrance procedures are clearly stated in Noonsite. I disagree with your statement that PR doesn't recognize the USVI as being part of the USA. If that were true, one would have to deal with immigration and customs, not just customs. I think a more correct perception is that the USVI are tax/duty free and PR doesn't want goods purchased in the USVI imported for resale in PR without paying tax. Booze and cigarettes are very cheap in the VI and smuggling into PR is not a welcomed activity. I am glad you weren't fined.
 

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My sister and brother-inlaw have lived in Puerto Rico for close to thirty years. I have joined them more times than I can count to their trips to the virgin islands. We have always as long as I can remember coming back in to the marina in Fajardo, PR calling customs and giving our document numbers over the phone and waiting for us to be cleared. I also believe it has to do more with duty/tax than anything else.
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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As mentioned, entrance procedures are clearly stated in Noonsite. I disagree with your statement that PR doesn't recognize the USVI as being part of the USA. If that were true, one would have to deal with immigration and customs, not just customs. I think a more correct perception is that the USVI are tax/duty free and PR doesn't want goods purchased in the USVI imported for resale in PR without paying tax. Booze and cigarettes are very cheap in the VI and smuggling into PR is not a welcomed activity. I am glad you weren't fined.
He might not have had any of those items onboard.

Good to know though.. especially about the 4 areas of PR
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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"This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States."
Ah, Puerto Rico is a WAR PRIZE and the US government calls it an "insular possession" of the United States. What PR does or does not recognize has no standing in federal law or federal court, and last time I checked, both ICE and USCG were required to follow federal rules and federal standards, not the standards of some half-assed war prize which has no vote in how the country is run, and has chosen to remain a half-asses war price instead of voting for statehood. Which they've declined multiple times. Supposedly because the big corporations and the upper class both enjoy the tax freedoms they gain by not becoming a state. Which still makes PR a war prize and nothing more.

The USVI has the same status as PR, they are both "insular possessions" and as such they are classed by Federal law as outside the Customs' boundaries of the US. So regardless of which ones you travel between, it is Federal law, not local law, that determines how you will have to clear in and out.

Under Federal law, if you travel from the USVI to PR, you might as well be traveling to Guam, because you've left the US in between your ports of call.
 

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"This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States."
Ah, Puerto Rico is a WAR PRIZE and the US government calls it an "insular possession" of the United States. What PR does or does not recognize has no standing in federal law or federal court, and last time I checked, both ICE and USCG were required to follow federal rules and federal standards, not the standards of some half-assed war prize which has no vote in how the country is run, and has chosen to remain a half-asses war price instead of voting for statehood. Which they've declined multiple times. Supposedly because the big corporations and the upper class both enjoy the tax freedoms they gain by not becoming a state. Which still makes PR a war prize and nothing more.

The USVI has the same status as PR, they are both "insular possessions" and as such they are classed by Federal law as outside the Customs' boundaries of the US. So regardless of which ones you travel between, it is Federal law, not local law, that determines how you will have to clear in and out.

Under Federal law, if you travel from the USVI to PR, you might as well be traveling to Guam, because you've left the US in between your ports of call.
Sorry to indicate you are wrong in this regard Hellosailor... as far as being half-asses... we Puerto Ricans take aback on these half ass remarks! Now while I agree with you many corporations would like Puerto Rico to remain a commonwealth so they enjoy the tax benefits there are other reasons as well but they are not for this forum.

Regarding the 'insular possessions' you have it so wrong... here is some good reading and the law as it pertains to Puerto Rico Customs (you'll also notice the "other than Puerto Rico" remark in there):

Title 19: Customs Duties
PART 7-CUSTOMS RELATIONS WITH INSULAR POSSESSIONS AND GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL STATION
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§ 7.2 Insular possessions of the United States other than Puerto Rico.
(a) Insular possessions of the United States other than Puerto Rico are also American territory but, because those insular possessions are outside the customs territory of the United States, goods imported therefrom are subject to the rates of duty set forth in column 1 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) except as otherwise provided in §7.3 or in part 148 of this chapter. The principal such insular possessions are the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway Islands, and Johnston Atoll. Pursuant to section 603(c) of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America, Public Law 94-241, 90 Stat. 263, 270, goods imported from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are entitled to the same tariff treatment as imports from Guam and thus are also subject to the provisions of §7.3 and of part 148 of this chapter.
(b) Importations into Guam, American Samoa, Wake Island, Midway Islands, Johnston Atoll, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are not governed by the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, or the regulations contained in this chapter. The customs administration of Guam is under the Government of Guam. The customs administration of American Samoa is under the Government of American Samoa. The customs administration of Wake Island is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Air Force (General Counsel). The customs administration of Midway Islands is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy. There is no customs authority on Johnston Atoll, which is under the operational control of the Defense Nuclear Agency. The customs administration of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is under the Government of the Commonwealth.
(c) The Secretary of the Treasury administers the customs laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands through the United States Customs Service. The importation of goods into the U.S. Virgin Islands is governed by Virgin Islands law; however, in situations where there is no applicable Virgin Islands law or no U.S. law specifically made applicable to the Virgin Islands, U.S. laws and regulations shall be used as a guide and be complied with as nearly as possible. Tariff classification of, and rates of duty applicable to, goods imported into the U.S. Virgin Islands are established by the Virgin Islands legislature.
[T.D. 97-75, 62 FR 46439, Sept. 3, 1997]

and the law:

§*7.2***Insular possessions of the United States other than Puerto Rico. :: PART 7--CUSTOMS RELATIONS WITH INSULAR POSSESSIONS AND GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL STATION :: CHAPTER I--BUREAU OF CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DE

Have a good day!
 

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Freedom 39
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1,156 Posts
"This is because Puerto Rico does not recognize
The USVI as part of the United States."
Ah, Puerto Rico is a WAR PRIZE and the US government calls it an "insular possession" of the United States. What PR does or does not recognize has no standing in federal law or federal court, and last time I checked, both ICE and USCG were required to follow federal rules and federal standards, not the standards of some half-assed war prize which has no vote in how the country is run, and has chosen to remain a half-asses war price instead of voting for statehood. Which they've declined multiple times. Supposedly because the big corporations and the upper class both enjoy the tax freedoms they gain by not becoming a state. Which still makes PR a war prize and nothing more.

The USVI has the same status as PR, they are both "insular possessions" and as such they are classed by Federal law as outside the Customs' boundaries of the US. So regardless of which ones you travel between, it is Federal law, not local law, that determines how you will have to clear in and out.

Under Federal law, if you travel from the USVI to PR, you might as well be traveling to Guam, because you've left the US in between your ports of call.
Apparently I really enjoy visiting with the great people I've met that reside on a "half-assed war prize". Those are some really derogatory statements you are spouting about an entire population. Too bad those residents weren't born in a place where the politics might be more to your liking. Washington DC, Chicago and New Orleans come to mind...:puke
 

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Apparently I really enjoy visiting with the great people I've met that reside on a "half-assed war prize". Those are some really derogatory statements you are spouting about an entire population. Too bad those residents weren't born in a place where the politics might be more to your liking. Washington DC, Chicago and New Orleans come to mind...:puke
It's really surprising to countries/islands to be visited by vacationers only to be insulted... but worse is to try to dispense their version of what 'law' is when they know not what they speak... but alas... follow the law advice of those uninformed... our half ass Puerto Rican jails do not differentiate between half asses and FULL ASSES when those Customs laws or any other laws are violated. ;)
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Derogatory? The facts are simple, it is a war prize, nothing more and nothing less.

The US forcibly took possession of PR from Spain in the Spanish American war. That Spain had "discovered" "conquered" "subjugated" or whatever you want to call it previously, has no bearing on the fact that the US took possession of PR as a prize of war.

Now, as to whether the continuing status as an insular possession is derogatory...I can't tell you. If anyone in PR feels defamed by that status, they can get up and vote for Statehood and take all that brings. But apparently a majority of Puertoricanos feel that it is to their advantage to be less than a State. Or, someone keeps casting the votes that way.

Meanwhile, it remains a war prize, and the concepts of independence and freedom, however illusory, don't seem to be the ones valued most there. Go for statehood. Go for nationhood and independence. But, to stay in limbo as a war prize?

That's a concious choice, by the folks who live there.

Chicago, DC, and N'Orleans oughtn't to be lumped into the same bucket as each other, fwiw. DC has a truly unique status, of being a city without a state. Three towns, each with some unique attributes.
 

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Derogatory? The facts are simple, it is a war prize, nothing more and nothing less.

The US forcibly took possession of PR from Spain in the Spanish American war. That Spain had "discovered" "conquered" "subjugated" or whatever you want to call it previously, has no bearing on the fact that the US took possession of PR as a prize of war.

Now, as to whether the continuing status as an insular possession is derogatory...I can't tell you. If anyone in PR feels defamed by that status, they can get up and vote for Statehood and take all that brings. But apparently a majority of Puertoricanos feel that it is to their advantage to be less than a State. Or, someone keeps casting the votes that way.

Meanwhile, it remains a war prize, and the concepts of independence and freedom, however illusory, don't seem to be the ones valued most there. Go for statehood. Go for nationhood and independence. But, to stay in limbo as a war prize?

That's a concious choice, by the folks who live there.

Chicago, DC, and N'Orleans oughtn't to be lumped into the same bucket as each other, fwiw. DC has a truly unique status, of being a city without a state. Three towns, each with some unique attributes.
As a born Puerto Rican from my island I think I'm fairly more educated about Puerto Rico than you are... have you ever visited Puerto Rico? I bet not but somehow you've become the defacto expert on Puerto Rico and it's politics and why in Congress they have not voted Puerto Rico to become the 51st State... there are many good reasons why too and as I mentioned this is not for this forum but you might want to ask the Hawaiians and native Alaskans how well they're doing after most of their land and homelands are now gone to other people not of the native population or why somehow their native language has strangely gone away except for the native population that still converses among themselves ... maybe that is the reason Piuerto Rico has made the official language Spanish although the U.S. government language used in U.S. government business is English... maybe Native Hawaiians/Alaskans wished they'd thought of that too in hindsight!

Funny that we Puerto Ricans were also U.S. Citizens since April of 1899 while many calling us half asses came to this country on boatloads into Ellis Island back in 1910 and later without a dime in their pockets as well... at least I and many others can lay claim to being in Puerto Rico or Porto Rico as it was before the 'war prize (sic)' since the 1700's...
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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"calling us half asses "
No one called anyone half an ass, except you yourself taking umbrage where none was.

I said the situation in PR was half-assed. Why you choose to remain in limbo as neither a state nor a nation, why you choose to remain a war prize, is your own business.

But the fact remains, Puerto Rico has had many years in which to change that and has chosen to remain an insular possession. I come from one of the many sovereign states that were in fact sovereign states before there was an "American" nation. We take matters of self control and sovereignty almost as seriously as Jefferson Davis did, and we don't all agree that Lincoln was right about The Union being inviolate.

You want to be a subject with limited control over your own rights and future? OK, that's your choice. And no matter how you do or don't like it, you still live in a war prize, an insular possession, a political convenience that can literally be cut up, bought and sold, at the discretion of the owners. Who may be benevolent right now--but they still own you. Chosing to remain the possession of someone else? That's slave mentality. And, not incidentally, foreign to the traditional American way of thinking.

So whether it is financially advantageous or not, you're not in control of your own future. You're in less control of it than any state or nation would be, because you're owned.
And just to be clear, that's not you personally, that's "you" the island of Puerto Rico.

So many little bits of the UK were so proud to gain their statehood. PR? Go figure. Sweet deal.
 

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Freedom 39
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Derogatory? Yes, look it up if you don't understand the definition.;) The facts are simple, it is a war prize, nothing more and nothing less. Who is disputing it's history?

The US forcibly took possession of PR from Spain in the Spanish American war. That Spain had "discovered" "conquered" "subjugated" or whatever you want to call it previously, has no bearing on the fact that the US took possession of PR as a prize of war.

Now, as to whether the continuing status as an insular possession is derogatory...I can't tell you. If anyone in PR feels defamed by that status, they can get up and vote for Statehood and take all that brings.And possibly all that it takes away too. Do try to be fair. But apparently a majority of Puertoricanos feel that it is to their advantage to be less than a State. Or, someone keeps casting the votes that way. Yes, democracy is a beautiful thing. Can we at least agree on that?

Meanwhile, it remains a war prize, and the concepts of independence and freedom, however illusory, don't seem to be the ones valued most there. Go for statehood. Go for nationhood and independence. But, to stay in limbo as a war prize? If that's what the majority wants, yes. If you don't like it, maybe you should move there and register to vote.:D

That's a concious choice, by the folks who live there.By goodness, I think you are getting it.

Chicago, DC, and N'Orleans oughtn't to be lumped into the same bucket as each other, fwiw.Sarcasm, I'm purposely picking on entire populations because some in power appear to be corrupt. Do you recognize the irony? Taken further, the residents of Illinois are half-assed because they refuse to vote out corrupt politicians who limit their 2nd amendment freedoms. That is their choice to live under such tyranny and continue to make the same choices at the ballot box. They are clearly not free but think they are because they refuse to make a change, like get on a plane and fly to another state. Wait....PRs can do the same thing.:rolleyes: DC has a truly unique status, of being a city without a state.Yes, that's why I chose it. Three towns, each with some unique attributes.[/QUOTE

I apologize to any residents of the great state of Illinois for using it as an example.

Swing away and get the last shot in. This is Sailnet and not SA, right?:confused: I'm done drifting this thread any further from the original concept of clearing in and clearing out. I could sure use some pinchos about now!!!!
 

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Oh happy days. This argument brings back many happy memories of my time in PR from 1999 to 2003 and a short time in 2005. I will stay out of this little discussion as I don't have a decent rum in my hand.

Unless the situation has changed, on arriving from the USVI's the best check in was in Culebra. Anchor your boat, dinghy ashore, walk to the airport where they were friendly and efficient, walk back have breakfast/lunch/start drinking. Job done.

The reason for the check in was, as stated, the USVI's are Duty free, PR is not.
 

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gts1544
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Gents & Ladies, First, I freely admit that I haven't read all of the "replies" in this thread, but thought that perhaps, as an ex-commuter airline pilot from my youth (a long time ago), based in and flying from Puerto Rico for 12 years, that I could bring a little clarity to this situation. The USVI's are certainly US territory and entrants are required to clear both Immigration and Customs upon arrival, unless one is a through passenger to Puerto Rico or to the mainland. Because the USVI's are a "Tax Free Zone" as far as Customs is concerned, individuals are required to clear Customs, but not Immigration upon arrival into the "taxable" US (Puerto Rico included) upon arrival there. This includes arrivals into the Spanish Virgins as they are Puerto Rican territory. Hope this helps to clarify the issue! Cheers to all!
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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"Yes, democracy is a beautiful thing. Can we at least agree on that?"
Sure. Although I'd suggest democracy MAY be a beautiful thing. They don't have a very long track record, compared to other societies.

" If you don't like it, maybe you should move there and register to vote."
Why would I need to move there, when I can just ask my Congressman to turn it into a parking lot and forest preserve? Or industrial zone? Or maybe, give the USN back their bombing range with an extra couple of acres? I already can vote for the future of PR, remember, "we the people" own it. We could simply "liberate" it, declare independence, or trade it to someone else. You know, like we bought the Alaskan territories.

"I'm purposely picking on entire populations because some in power appear to be corrupt."
No, your irony was so subtle as to be invisible. Are you trying to say the PR is like Chicago then? A world-class mob political machine, which the inhabitants prefer to keep running?
"They are clearly not free but think they are..."
See, that's the problem with a democracy. You can't just install one and expect it to work. And even the Founding Fathers never intended everyone to vote, their concept of democracy gave the vote to about 20% of the citizens. The criteria may seem poor, but given the times, it probably gave the vote to the best informed and committed slice of the public.

And fwiw, no, I don't endorse the Chicago mob, or the way N'Orleans cons its voters. But fi they want tribalism, hey, for some folks that works too. Why vote for a stranger when you can vote for a friend, or uncle? That works for a lot of the world. Why worry about building codes, when you can slip someone a c-note and get certified? Until the next big storm or flood comes along, anyway.

Tip O'Neil made some good points about old fashioned politics and vote buying in his book, there's a lot to be said for that way of doing things.
 

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Freedom 39
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Oh happy days. This argument brings back many happy memories of my time in PR from 1999 to 2003 and a short time in 2005. I will stay out of this little discussion as I don't have a decent rum in my hand.

Unless the situation has changed, on arriving from the USVI's the best check in was in Culebra. Anchor your boat, dinghy ashore, walk to the airport where they were friendly and efficient, walk back have breakfast/lunch/start drinking. Job done.

The reason for the check in was, as stated, the USVI's are Duty free, PR is not.
That is still an option. Assuming all on board have US passports (and Canadian I believe:confused:) the Capt can make a toll free phone call and clear in from the comfort of the cockpit which is even easier. Just make sure the vessel has a current DTOPS sticker. If there is an issue, they may still request you present yourself in person. I rarely hear of that happening.
 

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This dead horse is taking quite a beating. We can all agree the rum is awesome and that Chi Chi is one hell of a great golfer and gentleman
 
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