Pleasure Vessel Clearance

 PLEASURE VESSELS

Under customs regulation, ALL pleasure vessels not carrying cargo and operated for pleasure and recreation only, who are not sailing for reward or remuneration or for business purposes, must visit Bahamas Customs and Immigration in order to receive a Cruising Permit. This permit allows for foreign vessels and foreign occupants to sail throughout the crystal clear Bahamian waters for the specified period of time of one year as stated on the permit. Fishing Permits are also available that is included in the Boarding Fees.  Log in and complete the relevant information for granting of the permits

Eligibility

Captains sailing pleasure vessels operated for pleasure and recreation only. Pleasure Vessels arriving Under It’s Own Power or Pleasure Vessels Imported by a Bona-Fide Visitor.  

Process

  1. Complete the required forms
  2. Present forms to the Customs Officer at the point of arrival at your port of entry in The Bahamas.
  3. Once the form is processed, a copy of the processed form (C39 Cruising Permit) will be given to you and will serve as your Cruising Permit that is valid for 12 months.
  4. If the vessel departs and returns within 90 days, it is exempted from paying for another Cruising Permit upon re-entrance. Only a passenger tax will apply if applicable.

Application Form(s)

  1. Form C2AInward Declaration and Application for Cruising Permit
  2. Maritime Declaration of Health Form

Supporting Documents

  • Proof of citizenship/Identification for the captain (Passport) and other crew and passengers.
  • Vessel Registration/Title

Turn-around time

At the time of application once all documents are approved. Until vessel is cleared by Bahamas Customs, only the Captain of the Vessel is allowed to be disembark the vessel.

Deadline

This process must be completed within 24 hours after arrival into Bahamian waters. No passengers or crew are to disembark until the process is completed.

Related Fee(s)

The fee associated with receiving a Temporary Cruising Permit is –

  • Up to 35 ft. in length – BS$150.00
  • Over 35 ft. in length – BS$300.00

This fee covers the cost of a Fishing Permit, a Cruising Permit, Attendance Fee and transportation and overtime fees payable to a Customs. It also covers reentry within a ninety day period. There is a BS$20.00 per head for passenger tax with the first 3 crew / passengers exempt.

After the twelve month period, the Comptroller, on application, can subsequently renew the Cruising Permit for a fee of BS$500.00 each year up to two years, making a period of stay in The Bahamas, three years in total. At the end of the three year period the vessel must leave the Bahamas or be duty paid.

No Customs clearance is required for vessels under this category when leaving for the United States. However the master of the vessel is required to return the Cruising Permit form C39 and Immigration cards by mail to (Comptroller of Customs P.O. Box N-155 Nassau, Bahamas).

FIREARMS & AMMUNITION

The Department has made allowances for Pleasure Vessels to carry firearms and accompanying ammunition.

A maximum of three firearms inclusive of handguns, rifles and shotguns, which such calibre of firearms shall not exceed three hundred & eight calibers is allowed with two hundred and fifty (250) accompanying rounds of ammunition per firearm.  All Automatic weapons are prohibited.

Open center consoles vessels are NOT allowed firearms.  If firearms are found on vessels deemed unfit by the Customs Department, they will be detained at the Local Police Station until departure out of the Country.  All firearms are to remain on board said vessel. It is illegal to take firearms off of vessels without the necessary permits and duty payment.

The Master of all Pleasure Vessels are to ensure firearms on board are declared, along with correct serial numbers and ammunition.  Failure to do so can result in Forfeiture, fines and in certain circumstances, imprisonment.

DOMESTIC-BASED PLEASURE VESSELS:

All Domestic-Based Pleasure Vessels must clear in on form C2A and are eligible for individual exemption of $500.00 per person similarly to when returning from abroad via the airport.