NEED-TO-KNOW

BAHAMAS CUSTOMS INFO

ENTERING THE BAHAMAS

Fees for pleasure vessels clearing into the Bahamas:

Under 35 feet:

$150 for 3 months | $300 for 12 months

35 - 100 feet:

$300 for 3 months | $600 for 12 months

100 - 150 feet:

$500 for 3 months | $1,000 for 12 months

150 - 200 feet:

$800 for 3 months | $1,600 for 12 months

Exceeding 200 feet:

$1,000 for 3 months | $2,000 for 12 months

 

It should be noted that these fees include:

  • Cruising Permit fees

  • Fishing Permit fees

  • Attendance fees for both Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers

  • Transportation fees for both Bahamas Customs and Immigration Officers

  • Re-entry of vessel if within 90 days

Policy for vessels clearing into the Bahamas:

 

A pleasure vessel arriving in the Bahamas shall be subject to a fee of $150 for boats under 35' and $300 for boats over 35'.

 

This covers the cost of an initial-entry cruising permit, plus a return visit within ninety (90) days; a vessel would be exempted from additional fees within that 90-day period, except for transportation fees if officers have to come to your boat a second time in 90 days. This also covers a three-month fishing permit, any attendant fees payable to a Customs Officer, any overtime and travel costs required for the attendance of an Immigration Officer (no transportation charges when clearing at a government dock), plus the $20 departure tax should you need to fly home.

 

Be sure to bring a copy of your cruising permit to the airport. Each additional person over three persons will be charged $20. No charge for children under 6 years old. There should be no overtime, holiday or transportation charges above this initial clearing-in fee, though charges might be made for the second entry within 90 days. Ask for a receipt, get the name of the officer, and call Customs (242-604-3124/242-604-3125) or Immigration (242-322-8504/242-322-7530) in Nassau if you have any problems. You may want to call Customs before you cross the Gulf Stream into the Bahamas to verify fees. Crew members arriving by air and departing by boat should purchase roundtrip tickets.

FISHING LICENSE

At the time of clearing Customs, you will have an opportunity to obtain a fishing license as part of the fee. If you intend to troll or spearfish (fishing with SCUBA equipment or speargun is illegal), ask for a fishing endorsement. Details of fishing regulations are on the permit.

SPECIAL REMINDERS

When leaving home, make sure you have three flags for cruising in the Bahamas—your country’s flag, a yellow quarantine flag, and the Bahamian courtesy flag.

Your vessel’s temporary cruising permit is for either three months or one year from date of entry. It may be renewed for up to two additional years by written application to Bahamas Customs, Nassau, prior to expiration and with payment of $500 per year. To leave your boat in the Bahamas permanently, you must register locally and pay an import duty of 10% for vessels of any size.

At your first opportunity, make copies of your cruising permit. If you need to fly home, you will need a copy of your permit, as well as your passport, to present to your airline and Bahamas Immigration when you reenter the Bahamas. Leave the original on the boat.

Cruising visitors with a valid Bahamas Temporary Cruising Permit are allowed to import boat repair/replacements parts for engines DUTY FREE. In addition, there is no duty on printed matter and original artwork. You will need a copy of your Cruising Permit and a proper invoice. This policy is subject to change. Call Customs to get the up-to-date policy.

EXITING THE BAHAMAS / ENTERING THE U.S.

It is not necessary to clear out of the Bahamas when going farther south or entering the U.S. However, you must clear back into the U.S. with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). The Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) and the Local Boater Option (LBO) are no longer in service. Instead, use the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM) app when boating into the U.S. from a foreign port. Existing SVRS or LBO numbers will continue to remain valid and may be entered in the CBP ROAM app for expedited processing. Boaters may also continue to report their arrival via designated telephone reporting numbers or report to a port of entry, if desired.

 

Download the CBP ROAM app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and create an account on login.gov. Enter your traveler, mode of travel, and trip details for your U.S. entry. After submitting the trip, a CBP Officer will review your submission and may initiate a video interview if necessary. You will need passports, vessel information, names and dates of birth, last port of call, purchases.

 

Following the video interview, you will receive a notification and an email with your clearance status and/or next steps. While all travelers may use the CBP ROAM app, there may be circumstances in which a boater must still report in person to CBP.

 

For expedited processing, individuals without a Trusted Traveler number may also apply to enroll as a “Verified Traveler” through the CBP ROAM app; approved travelers will receive a Verified Traveler number that can be used for future trips. For more information, visit cbp.dhs.gov. Non-U.S. recreational vessels must submit a Notice of Arrival. Visit enoad.mvmc.uscg.gov or call 800-708-9823/304-264-2502.

If you are clearing back in to the U.S. anywhere from the Sebastian Inlet south down the east coast of Florida, including Ft. Pierce, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami and on through the Keys to Key West and as far north on the west coast as Ft. Myers, the correct phone numbers are 800-432-1216 or 800-451-0393. If the number keeps ringing and is not answered or if you are put on hold for longer than 20 minutes, call back the next day. The least busy times to call are during business hours on weekdays. Weekends and evenings are busier times for U.S. Customs so you may have to wait longer. Once you clear Customs, you will likely be asked to call Immigration as well.

 

Numbers for clearing in at other Florida locations:

  • Fernandina Beach 904-261-6154

  • Ft. Myers 239-561-6205

  • Jacksonville 904-714-3100

  • St. Augustine 904-209-0099

  • Naples City Dock 239-430-9321

  • Panama City 850-636-6785

  • Pensacola 850-433-3205

  • Pt. Canaveral 321-783-2066 x2 (24 hrs)

  • West Palm Beach 561-844-1703 x249

  • Port Manatee 941-729-9301

  • St. Petersburg 727-536-7311 (24 hrs)

  • Tampa 813-712-6000 (24 hrs)

  • Miami Seaport 305-536-4758

  • Port Everglades/Ft. Lauderdale 954-761-2000

  • Key West 305-296-5411

U.S. vessels of 30+ ft. must display a Customs User Fee Decal and be prepared to give the decal number when clearing back in to the States. The new Decal and Transponder Online Procurement System (DTOPS) replaces the previous online system. To procure your Decal, go to dtops.cbp.dhs.gov and sign in with your DTOPS username and password or register under New DTOPS User. You can print an application online for a mail-in registration, call or email to have one sent to you. For technical assistance, call 317-298-1245 or email decals@dhs.gov. Check the website for updated information before you leave.