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Federated States of Micronesia, Kosrae: Fees Greatly Increased

By Sue Richards — last modified Jan 15, 2014 12:52 PM
Contributors: Tom and Janis Bell of s/v Tomboy, John Ranahan and Mark Stephens of the Pacific Treelodge Resort
As an update to this report, see a complete list of fees, forms and procedures for yachts entering Kosrae on the Kosrae Chamber of Commerce website - http://kosraechamberofcommerce.org/pleasureboatentry.shtml

Published: 2013-01-29 01:00:00
Countries: Federated States of Micronesia

The State of Kosrae in FSM has a new Port Authority Manager who is openly critical of cruisers and their perceived adverse impact on Kosrae. He is trying to raise fees for anchoring, docking, and entering the State by applying his own interpretation of existing statutes.

Our thanks to Tom and Janis Bell of s/v Tomboy, John Ranahan and Mark Stephens of the Pacific Treelodge Resort for reporting the latest situation in Kosrae for cruisers.

Hospitality and generosity are important aspects of Kosraen culture as exemplified by the Sigrah Family in Lelu Harbour, Kosrae, owners of Ace Hardware. They provide yachtsmen with a warm welcome and a place to safely tie up their dinghy. They and other Kosraens are however surprised and upset by the behaviour of the new Port Authority Manager.

Tom and Janis Bell of SV Tomboy report that so far the Attorney General has kept the Port Authority in check by interpreting the law in a way that prevents him charging a daily $25 anchorage fee. However the days of a flat $25 entry/anchorage fee ended with the last two boats to leave in December 2012. The boats who left in January 2013 were required to pay well over $100 each, including $25 anchorage fee, $2 per foot entry fee and mandatory $50 dockage fee whether or not the Lelu wharf was used.

Tom and Janis told noonsite, "We were billed $292 for a 33' sailboat - later corrected to $141."

The local yachting industry in Kosrae are working on the problem through the Chamber of Commerce and letters to the Govenor, however little is expected to be achieved.

Until the situation stabilizes, it is recommended that cruisers avoid Kosrae in favor of Pohnpei, 300 miles to the Northwest. Kolonia offers a secure anchorage, new small marina, good provisioning and a culture of friendly helpfulness.

See the Kosrae Chamber of Commerce Board's response to this port fees controversy.

Update February 13th 2013 - from SY Downtime's Blog.

 

The entrance into Lelu harbor, which is on the east side of Kosrae, had a pass even Popeye wouldn’t dare go into at night!  The charts were anywhere from 150 feet to 300 yards off depending witch charts you are using!  The channel markers consist of a single 12 inch red buoy that is really hard to see in the swell and a few stakes that are pounded into the reef itself.  The pass is about 300 feet wide with reef and breaking waves on either side.

There were just two other boats in the whole harbor and we anchored in 30 feet of water in front of the small town.

We had received a few e mails from other cruisers saying that the port captain was a real piece of work and had been trying to get the cruisers to pay large fees to clear out.  We met the customs, quarantine, immigration, and the dreaded port captain and they all treated us nicely and welcomed us to their island with minimal paperwork, and then we were officially cleared in.

 

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