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Antigua & Barbuda: Clearing in at Barbuda no longer possible

By Sue Richards — last modified May 15, 2013 09:23 PM
Contributors: Mark Jensen, SY Sea Life & Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle confirms that yachts can no longer clear into Antigua and Barbuda in Barbuda, unless you get permission from the head of customs 48 hours in advance.

Published: 2013-05-15 00:00:00
Countries: Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda: Clearing in at Barbuda no longer possible

© www.barbudaful.net

Codrington, Barbuda NOT a Port of Entry - but you can now clear out

Following a recent visit to Jolly Harbour, Antigua, on his boat "Sea Life", Mark Jensen reported to noonsite details of a memo on the door of the Jolly Harbour Customs office:
From Comptroller of Customs
Ref CED 22/2 - March 1 2013
"Vessels can NOT clear in or out of Barbuda... they can clear out in Antigua and go to Barbuda as long as they leave within 24 hours."

Whilst noting down this information, a Customs Officer told Mark that this ruling changed on the 7 May 2013 and although you can still NOT clear into Barbuda, you can now clear out.

Noonsite asked Chris Doyle (Chris Doyle's Guides) for any further information he may have and he reports the following:

"This is a new development and very negative for Barbuda and yachting! The problem arises because Barbuda has never been a full port of clearance, so to give clearance the local officials would ask permission from Antigua which was always given and it all worked fine.

"I called the local customs man and he says this no longer works.  You can no longer clear into Barbuda (as of a few days ago) unless you get permission from the head of customs 48 hours in advance. I was given an email for him rajuboddu@hotmail.com also a phone number 268-462-0829. No one answered the phone when I called, I did not try the email.

This is clearly a very negative move for tourism in Barbuda and it appears to have happened within customs rather than within the government. The current government in Antigua works well with Barbuda".

Current Clearance Regulations for Barbuda

Therefore currently, if you wish to clear in at Barbuda you must first seek permission from the head of Customs, as outlined by Chris above.

If you wish to clear out from Barbuda, you can either clear out from Antigua and visit Barbuda on departure (but must leave within 24 hours), probably the more straightforward option, or, ring 460 0085 or 725 7933 and ask to clear out at the office in Codrington (advisable to do this from Antigua to be on the safe side).

The difficulty with this is, of course, is that one needs a phone and coverage in the Spanish Point to Coco Point area is very poor. In addition clearing out in Barbuda can be a time consuming affair as it's a long way to the local offices and personnel tend not to stick to office hours.

Antigua & Barbudua has joined the eSeaClear system for pre-arrival customs notification. See Antigua & Barbuda Clearance for more information.

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