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I received this comment from friends currently in the region, they spend a lot of time in Antigua each year:
Yes, flaunting the international rules on clearing in is a dodgy game but we know lots of people who probably unwittingly do! Years ago in the UK when you sailed into port after crossing the channel you were required to stay on board until customs/ immigration officials came to your boat. Sometimes there was quite a lengthy delaying waiting for them to come but boat confiscation was the potential penalty for going ashore before getting clearance.
In Antigua now they are using the Canadian designed software Easyclear that enables you to do all the preliminary stuff on board, or on dedicated computers in English Harbour and then you simply provide customs with a generated reference number and you are out in less than 5 minutes. Yes, we always clear ASAP on arrival and if we miss office opening time we stay on board until next morning. We have not run into any really officious officers and generally find them more friendly and welcoming than earlier years down here. I guess the rules are the rules and certainly going out for the evening ashore before clearance is a bad move as you can be spotted and reported. We have just arrived back in Carriacou....