The posting below was copied by permission from the “Cruising News” section of the Explorer Chartbooks, Lewis Offshore website at http://www.explorercharts.com/customs_update.html. Clearly, this is vital info for anyone visting the Bahamas. Please visit the Explorer Chartbooks web site for full details!
We just put an updated report on clearing Bahamas Customs on our website under Cruising Information>Customs. It is a new “wrinkle” in the policy of allowing boats to clear in twice in 90 days under the same initial Customs fee. What we have just found out is that a vessel clearing in the second time in 90 days has to pay a transportation fee. A bit of a surprise to the persons who cleared into Nassau to learn this. I guess it doesn’t happen everywhere if officials don’t have to come to a boat but rather the person goes to the official.
The normal Bahamas clearing-in fees (also referred to as “boarding fees” by Customs officials) are as reported in our Explorer Chartbooks in the Customs articles–$150 for vessels under 35′ and $300 for vessels over 35′. The newest policy allows a vessel to clear in a second time within a 90-day period under the applicable fee. On the second visit, a note indicating such is written on your cruising permit. However, we just learned that a vessel clearing in for the second time in 90 days is subject to a $30 transportation fee each for the Customs and Immigration Officers. Recently, a vessel reported to us being charged $60 in Nassau for officials to come to the boat. We verified with Customs that this is a valid charge for a second visit within 90 days as the officers provide their own transportation for the visit.