customs in bimini

30LB PIN FISH30LB PIN FISH Posts: 25 Greenhorn
does any body know where the quickest location is to clear customs in bimini and if there is any paper work i need to bring other than passports and boat registration
"time well wasted"

Replies

  • Bull334Bull334 Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    I have a quick question when clearing customs when coming back, if your not registered as recreational boat when you get back to the states where do you check if your coming in boca for an example, is it a phone call or do you have to go to customs & immigration at a major port like port everglades. Looking to cross mid week next week, and not sure if i have time to register,
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,193 AG
    There used to be a WEALTH of info on the old Forum format that you could easily have used but we've lost ALL that valuable information now......

    PS: The Customs building is no longer pink......... more like beige......

    Also, Bimini Sands only has Customs Officers there during very busy times, like during Tournaments so call there first......

    Also, your boat does not have to have an FL number. A boat registered from any state in the Union can clear Customs at any Customs Office in Florida.

    Also, you and you crew can sign up for the Local Boater's Option (cards) before you leave for your trip. Contact any Customs/Border Patrol Office for more info. It's well worth it to take those steps before you go. Otherwise, it will be a phone call to clear US Customs and then a visit to your nearest US Immigration Office, which might be miles away from wherever you bring the boat in........ possibly even at an airport. (Hint: Get the LBO cards for everyone before you go!!)
  • BCSAILSBCSAILS Posts: 436 Deckhand
    I always go to Bimini Sands, on south Bimini. Busy holiday weekends they usually have customs right at the dock in the small office by the pool. Most times though you hitch a 5 min ride to the airport down the road and clear there. I always call the same taxi guy and hand him a 20. He shows right up every time I call for a ride and waits for me at airport for a quick return. It works for me. My brother goes to North Bimini, parks at Big Game Club, walks down to customs and clears but some times they make you walk all the way back and past the club to the Police station to clear. When you get back to Big Game, buy some Ice, bait or some drinks and fritters and they usually have no issue with you parking the boat and clearing there even if you dont stay there. Hand the dock master a cold drink as well. All you need is boat reg. and passport for everyone on board, all current. Big Game should hand you paperwork to fill in for customs. Sit on the boat, fill it out then walk to customs. All others must stay with boat until you return cleared. Have a good trip....
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,193 AG
    And don't forget that you'll need $150 in cash for boats under 35'. 35 feet and larger are $300. These fees only cover up to three people per boat, over that and it's $20 extra per person.
  • 001001 Posts: 4,292 Captain
    Definitley do the LBO. It makes life easy. And just like Big GM said, the $150 only covers 3 people now. I figured that out at the customs window last month. Gonna cash in on my second trip in two weeks.
  • DefmanDefman Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    You can pick up a set of forms and a pile of immigration cards at the Bahamas Tourism Office in Ft. Lauderdale off I 595 and Pine Island. If you are not in S. Fla - send them a note and they will mail them to you.

    Fill out the forms the evening before you leave - one set of forms for the boat and a red and white card for each person on the boat. Make sure each passenger signs their own immigration form. Keep the forms and passports togather with $$ on the boat and when you approach Bimini - fly yellow Q flag - then go directly to Customs House in N. Bimini with the forms, passports and $$ - very easy.

    HINT: when filling out the customs and health forms- watch out for the date - Bahamas uses reverse of MM/DD/YYYY on some of the forms ie: DD/MM/YYYY.

    HINT: when tying up at government dock behind customs house - make sure everyone stays on the boat except Captain

    HINT: there is no charge to tie up at government dock - despite that - some of the locals will try to collect $$ from you for dockage or "supervision" - they usually disappear quickly if you offer a beer instead.
  • 001001 Posts: 4,292 Captain
    Defman wrote: »
    You can pick up a set of forms and a pile of immigration cards at the Bahamas Tourism Office in Ft. Lauderdale off I 595 and Pine Island. If you are not in S. Fla - send them a note and they will mail them to you.

    Fill out the forms the evening before you leave - one set of forms for the boat and a red and white card for each person on the boat. Make sure each passenger signs their own immigration form. Keep the forms and passports togather with $$ on the boat and when you approach Bimini - fly yellow Q flag - then go directly to Customs House in N. Bimini with the forms, passports and $$ - very easy.

    HINT: when filling out the customs and health forms- watch out for the date - Bahamas uses reverse of MM/DD/YYYY on some of the forms ie: DD/MM/YYYY.

    HINT: when tying up at government dock behind customs house - make sure everyone stays on the boat except Captain

    HINT: there is no charge to tie up at government dock - despite that - some of the locals will try to collect $$ from you for dockage or "supervision" - they usually disappear quickly if you offer a beer instead.

    Are you related to Gary M?
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,193 AG
    Defman wrote: »
    Fill out the forms the evening before you leave - one set of forms for the boat and a red and white card for each person on the boat. Make sure each passenger signs their own immigration form.

    If you can do the above, do it! It's far easier to fill out the 5 pages of forms at the dining room table at home than on a bobbing boat with sweat dripping off your nose. Being the overall nice guy that I am, I get the full names, DOB, addresses amd passsport #s from everyone ahead of time and fill out all the forms. I leave the arrival time and date open in case we delay a day, etc. Upon arrival, it takes all of us less than a minute to finish off the forms with signatures, etc and I'm off to Customs with all the info in a folder, zip-loc, small bag, etc. If you are unsure of what to put down on a line or two, wait and they will guide you at the counter at Customs. For "Stores Aboard" or whatever that line is, I just put "personal items and stores". Don't get into detail.

    And don't forget to post a report with pics when you get back!
  • ScarabChrisScarabChris Posts: 39 Deckhand
    The LBO is the best thing since sliced bread. I got my wife and I signed up the instant they started that. The last thing I want to do after a long trip on the boat is jump in the car and drive to check in and wait while they ask all sorts of stupid questions. Not to mention the line if it was a busy weekend over there.

    For some reason I can't convince my buddies to sign up for the LBO. They all still need to check in and they complain about it every time. LOL.

    All they need to do now is make it so LBO members can check in online to avoid the phone call. I usually call the day after I return to avoid the hour waiting on hold.
  • ScarabChrisScarabChris Posts: 39 Deckhand
    Oh yeah, the forms. I always print them out at home and fill them out days prior to leaving. I also have a stock of the immigration cards at my house so when we arrive we are ready. I also always have a golf cart waiting for me at the Big Game Club so I can zip over and check in in a snap.

    Yeah I consider myself a pro at the whole Bimini check in procedure. Now if I can just learn how to fish a little better. LOL
  • 30LB PIN FISH30LB PIN FISH Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    i had chance to drive over to the bahamian tourist office on the corner of peters road and pine island one block north of 595 in the DHL building today. They were very helpful and gave me all the forms needed to clear customs and a nice packet of information as well. I would highly recommend for first timers
    "time well wasted"
  • DefmanDefman Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    001 wrote: »
    Are you related to Gary M?

    Nope:huh
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    Is it possible to check in with a certified copy (raised seal) on a birth certificate or is it passport only? I have heard mixed reviews on this
  • alacrityalacrity Posts: 2,665 Captain
    passport only. mixed review are "mixed correct" and you do not want to be "mixed correct" when you cross over there and tell you that you cannot legally clear.


  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    alacrity wrote: »
    passport only. mixed review are "mixed correct" and you do not want to be "mixed correct" when you cross over there and tell you that you cannot legally clear.

    Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I will be short one crew member, to bad for him
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    I've been clearing my kids with original birth certificates since they were 3 and never once had anyone say anything about it. fwiw, they also have their own LBO card so clearing here is a piece of cake. No passports for them, no problem
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    dpdash wrote: »
    I've been clearing my kids with original birth certificates since they were 3 and never once had anyone say anything about it. fwiw, they also have their own LBO card so clearing here is a piece of cake. No passports for them, no problem

    What to do? He really wants to go but I'm not risking breaking the law:banghead
  • Bull334Bull334 Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    What if your boat is documented? Does that change anything on checking back in the states?p
  • Cajun MartyniCajun Martyni Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Gary M wrote: »
    And don't forget that you'll need $150 in cash for boats under 35'. 35 feet and larger are $300. These fees only cover up to three people per boat, over that and it's $20 extra per person.

    Is the break point for the $150/$300 fee "over 35 feet" or "under 35 feet". I thought it was "over", but I might have been wrong? Planning my first trip to the Bahamas in a new boat. Manufacturer published length at water line is 35'4" (LOA = 38').

    Also, I know a lot has been said about taking guns to the Bahamas. It seems clear that the Bahamas considers a gun to be part of a ship's equipment, and that it's okay with them as long as you declare it and ammunition, keep it locked, etc. But when I was getting my LBO card recently the agent asked me if I carried a gun and said, if I did, I'd have to come in on return to let them see it and prove ownership which, if true, defeats the purpose of the LBO card. Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks.
  • triplenettriplenet Posts: 747 Officer
    Never asked about gun while returning with LBO....
    Gause Built 26
  • LobstababeLobstababe Posts: 280 Deckhand
    last time I was over I had an expired passport - I called Bimini Immigration and explained my situation, the officer said no problem and took my info and I took hers. Clearing the next day was no problem and they were ready for me. Great service & they were very nice about the whole situation of not having a valid passport.
  • Four C SonsFour C Sons Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    whats the quickest away about going to apply for one of those LBO cards
  • 2fastlx2fastlx Posts: 407 Deckhand
    whats the quickest away about going to apply for one of those LBO cards

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

    Go there and click Start.
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