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Old 12-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #1
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New Bahamian Entry Fees

Going after the big boys. Notice the tipping admonition!

The government of The Bahamas has announced that, after 16 years, there is to be a change in the structure of fees applied to entering Bahamian waters for recreational boating purposes. The new fee structure will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Fees were last adjusted in 2003.
These fees contribute to the government’s efforts to secure the 100,000 square miles of ocean within The Bahamas and make them safer for boating. The efforts made to date have earned the archipelago an unrivalled record for boating safety.
The following fees will be applied to boats staying in The Bahamas for up to 3 months:
• Boats up to 34 feet: $150 (no change)
• Boats 35-99 feet: $300 (no change)
• Boats 100-149 feet: $500
• Boats 150-200 feet: $800
• Boats over 200 feet: $1,000
The fees cover both a cruising permit and fishing permit, as well as the departure tax for up to three people. Each additional person will be charged a $20 departure tax. The fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period.
For stays longer than 3 months:
• Boats up to 34 feet: $300 annually
• Boats 35-99 feet: $600 annually
• Boats 100-149 feet: $1,000 annually
• Boats over 150 - 200 feet: $1,600 annually
• Boats over 200 feet: $2,000 annually
For a stay longer than 12 months, special arrangements must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.
Please note that Attendance Fees, Fishing Permit, Transportation and Overtime fees are all included in the price of the cruising permit. The only additional fees would be for additional departure tax if there are more than 3 persons at a cost of $20 per additional person. It is also illegal to tip government employees.

Boaters are asked to report if they are ever asked for these types of payments to the local marina manger or dockmaster.

For questions, please feel free to contact the ABM Executive Director, Basil Smith, on execdirector@bahamasmarinas.com or visit The Bahamas official website https://www.bahamas.com/faq/enteringexiting-policies.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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I will have to measure very carefully my 35' boat pick. Maybe on a very cold day..
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
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Interesting split on boats sizes, 39 to 99 feet is a HUGE range, that covers a massive slice of Bahamas cruisers. There's some hundred footers out there for sure but a lot more 70s and 80s. Quite a difference between a 40 foot trawler and a 99 foot super yacht.

The worst abusers of the fishery are the big center console guys, most of those boats are 28 to 35 feet, and don't stay more than a few weeks at a time, so no change for them. Quite a few of them don't check in anyway, so I guess it's no big deal one way or the other.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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How do you know that cc's are the worst abusers of the fishery? Just because you see them fishing? And how do you know that quite a few don't check in? That's a pretty big deal and I would say most folks that can afford a nice boat wouldn't risk it. Of course there will be some from all types of boats that break laws, but pretty bold statement you make and I'd say rather hard to prove.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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My stop and search rate for the Bahamas has been close to 1%, for the BDF. With low triple digit sample size. Its been closer to 3% for the USCG high seas stops, just for Bahama transits.
The real problem will be what happens when the search goes poorly. I don't have first hand experience on that one, only hearsay. And, that report goes like "either head to Nassau for a hearing" or "We are taking all your boat electronics and valuable fishing equip. for bail, you need to head back West now".
I had a complex expedition go weird one time. Combo boat and aircraft and 4x4 truck with trailer situation. Had to return to Andros to deal with paperwork and deposited $ issues. It's a pain to deal with this stuff not having any local legal representation and being a foreign tourist. Trying to pull back potential duty cash is painful.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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We got stopped in the 80’s by the USCG on a sailboat while a sailboat we were impromptu racing, was simultaneously searched by the Bahamians, when crossing the banks from Andros (I guess it looked like a drug transfer on radar). Our search was cursory, but when we met up with the other boat in Cat Cay that night, we found out the Bahamians had darn near disassembled their boat!
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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"The fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period." So I pay an annual fee and if I leave and return 91+ days later I get to pay again?
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friz View Post
"The fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period." So I pay an annual fee and if I leave and return 91+ days later I get to pay again?
It is good up to 12 months if you stay and don't leave/check out.

Otherwise you can come and go twenty times in a 12 month period and their customs and immigration have to process you every time for free. They are saying they will process you twice within 90 days for free.
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatruptcy View Post
How do you know that cc's are the worst abusers of the fishery? Just because you see them fishing? And how do you know that quite a few don't check in? That's a pretty big deal and I would say most folks that can afford a nice boat wouldn't risk it. Of course there will be some from all types of boats that break laws, but pretty bold statement you make and I'd say rather hard to prove.

I was a fishing guide for 13 years, and lived in that life. My nephew is guiding currently and my Dad was a professional fisherman as well. I know some of the guys that go over there a lot and fall in pretty easily with them when I see them on the docks.


You are correct, abuse is probably too strong of a word, better would be to say that they have the biggest impact. Most (not all) cruisers don't have the skills or equipment to have a big impact on the fishery but the guys in the Contenders, Yellowfins etc. do. The Bahamian limits are much more liberal than the in the US. You can kill a lot of fish if you want to.



That said, there are more than a few that don't care at all about the laws. I have a friend who is the dockmaster at one of the marinas in Green Turtle. I was talking to him this last summer and he told me a guy came through the week prior just before heading back to the states and showed him his catch. He had speared more than 4,000 pounds of mostly undersized hogfish. A guy in my marina told me he started a week early on Lobster this season and brought back 400 tails. Don't kid yourself. It happens a lot. It's really sad.



As far as checking in, it's not a money thing, they see it as a hassle. And they are generally only there for a short while, so they don't think it's worth it. There are cruisers who do this too. One of my buddies got his permit checked while he was in a marina in Marsh Harbour. The defense force just walked the docks and demanded to see permits from every boat. More than half the boats either didn't have them or they were out of date. I'd be scared poopless to not check in, but plenty of people don't.



As was mentioned above, they break the laws because they feel they can get away with it. The enforcement is almost nil.


On the positive side, a lot of fisherman were the first to show up after Dorian. There are plenty of good guys out there too.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:09 AM   #10
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The sad thing is, this was their chance to fix the fee system that destroyed the weekend traffic to Bimini, and made it the dump it is now.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:41 AM   #11
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Okay here's the rub. My AT is documented as a 34, with swim platform. The newer boats, same hull but documented as a 36 with swim platform.
Guess if I ever go there I will take the documentation the when I check in and try to maintain a mystified look on my face. SHRUG

I have yet to find anyone willing to remain on the swim platform or sleep on it even I provide free duct tape so they dont fall off during the night.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:00 AM   #12
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In my near 20 years of going over there I have yet to have anyone measure my boat - in fact only once has anyone come to the boat and that was to sit inside at Walkers to do the paperwork instead of in his office. They get everything the need from the reg etc.

In fact I now get the paperwork online and fill it out before I leave so it is all done for them - which they prefer.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:24 AM   #13
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New Bahamian Entry Fees

But customs has your boat registration in front of them just before they collect fees.
Its florida that needs any convincing.
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