CleAring customs

the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
First time trying to clear customs! Are there any tricks to clear customs fast and efficiently. Is there anything I can have pre done? Any thing I need to look out for?

Replies

  • nuevowavonuevowavo Posts: 6,567 Admin
    Which way? Bahama-side or returning?
    Federales, bring my baby back to me!
  • the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
    Bahamas side please
  • WynWyn Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Where are you going to clear?
  • the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
    West end. Old bahama bay
  • oldtimeroldtimer Posts: 509 Officer
    Hope this info is useful to you. It's always a challenge the first time. OBB is a good place to check in so that helps.

    The official Bahamas website for the forms.

    http://www.bahamas.com/sites/default/files/Bahamas_Custom_Clearance.pdf

    Additionally, the following link provides further insight and detail into the entry & exit process of the Bahamas.

    http://www.bahamas.com/boating-enter-exit
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,177 AG
    Get a copy of the Customs forms ahead of time and fill them out at home the night before. You'll want to leave the Arrival Time and date blank until you actually get there.

    Make SURE that everyone not only has a passport but that they are not expired. An entire crew was denied entry into Bimini recently and were forced to go home after one passport was found to be expired! :hairraiser

    Have the individual entry cards filled out and signed, have your $$$ ready and take everything up to the office. A gallon zip-loc bag works well to keep all the stuff together.

    Run up your yellow Quarantine flag as you enter port and after clearing, take it down and replace it with your Bahamas Courtesy Flag. Only YOU are allowed off the vessel until after you clear in so don't let your crew wander off until you get back.

    Enter the OBB basin and call OBB on VHF 10 and tell them you need to clear Customs. They may direct you to your slip (if you are staying there) or they may tell you to tie up alongside the long seawall just past the dark pink Dockmaster's Office and Fuel Dock.

    001-1.jpg

    The pink building has Customs in it and you can tie up right in front. The Dockmaster's Office and Fuel Dock are in the background. If you bring your own forms over, ask the staff here for a full blank set and then you'll have them for your next visit!
  • the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
    Thanks Gary. Where can I get these forms so I can have them filled out? Also what is the deal with the flags? I don't have any flags
  • the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
    Found the 5 page customs form
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,177 AG
    You are supposed to fly a solid yellow "Quarantine Flag" before you clear Customs. This shows that your boat has not cleared in yet. After you get done with the Customs AND Immigration folks (both in the same, tiny office), you take down the yellow flag and they fly the Bahamas Courtesy Flag until you leave the country.

    Here are both but you only fly one at a time..... get them at any West Marine or online.

    Flags.jpg
  • the blue ghostthe blue ghost Posts: 140 Officer
    What are the hours of operation for customs? With this bad weather we are looking at postponing till leaving boyton inlet in the afternoon
  • Lucky7Team2Lucky7Team2 Posts: 6,794 Officer
    You can speed up the return as well. If you call your boat in upon return EACH member of your crew must check back in or you face a fine I think. Best way is to have them get an LBO card, local boaters option. This way they can phone in they have returned and avoid going to US Customs building. They have 24 hours to check back in.

    If I am wrong please update...

    https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/
  • edkedk Posts: 38 Deckhand
    The crew does not have to call to check in. The captain of the boat calls in with the crew's details (which should all be included on a float plan if one was filed). If they have LBO numbers they will not have to clear in person.

    Ed
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,177 AG
    They have 24 hours to check back in.

    If I am wrong please update...

    https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/

    That's the what I had always understood. For some reason, 'my' LBO number did not work when we cleared back in on another Forum guy's boat in April. I reported down on Eller Drive in person the next day and the little Customs lady read me the Riot Act for not clearing in the day before!

    I pointed out that I was at hour 21 at that time but she still was upset! I asked her how her menstrual period was coming along and that I felt sorry for her poor husband, but that did not help at ALL! :nono I offered to buy her some new shoes if she would agree to put her 9mm away and she agreed....... luckily. I barely escaped......

    Bottom line, get your entire crew to get LBO cards!
  • mikey111kmikey111k Posts: 34 Greenhorn
    Im still not sure about one thing. If we are returning from bimini with 4 people and I (the captain) along with one other person have the LBO card (so 2 people do not have it) can i still file a float plan and have the two with the LBO card clear (over the phone) and the other two have to go to customs in person? Thanks
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 974 Officer
    mikey111k wrote: »
    Im still not sure about one thing. If we are returning from bimini with 4 people and I (the captain) along with one other person have the LBO card (so 2 people do not have it) can i still file a float plan and have the two with the LBO card clear (over the phone) and the other two have to go to customs in person? Thanks

    Yes. That is what I did (minus float plan) two weeks ago.

    Wife and I have LBO, guests did not. Called number on LBO card tied to the dock at Jupiter, got clearance number, guests went and reported in person at airport (cargo terminal area, not main terminal).
  • Lucky7Team2Lucky7Team2 Posts: 6,794 Officer
    bmoody wrote: »
    Yes. That is what I did (minus float plan) two weeks ago.

    Wife and I have LBO, guests did not. Called number on LBO card tied to the dock at Jupiter, got clearance number, guests went and reported in person at airport (cargo terminal area, not main terminal).

    They must report within 24 hours or YOU will be fined up to 10K per person I believe.
  • FWCSnookFWCSnook Posts: 886 Officer
    You can pick up the clearance cards at the bahamas air terminal at FTL. They are individually numbered and barcoded, so the ones you print online won't work. Ask me how I know... All the other forms are generic, so the ones online are fine.
  • FinalPointFinalPoint Posts: 59 Greenhorn
    mikey111k wrote: »
    Im still not sure about one thing. If we are returning from bimini with 4 people and I (the captain) along with one other person have the LBO card (so 2 people do not have it) can i still file a float plan and have the two with the LBO card clear (over the phone) and the other two have to go to customs in person? Thanks

    Yes, you can still file a float plan (and yes, the passengers without LBO will have to clear US Customs in person). There is a part of the float plan filing that asks you to list passengers without LBO - that is where you type in their info including passport numbers.

    Still better for everyone to have LBO since it only takes one visit to the Customs office anyway.
  • mikey111kmikey111k Posts: 34 Greenhorn
    Thanks for clearing that up guys. I wanted the two other guys to get LBO cards but they are coming in from Georgia and wont get in early enough to get them.

    This will be my first time trying the LBO so hopefully it works out.
  • floridacrakrfloridacrakr Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    How do you get a lbo card?
  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 6,776 Admiral
    How do you get a lbo card?
    https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/
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