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FSM: An Explanation of the charges in Chuuk

By Desiré Welgemoed — last modified Mar 04, 2013 09:52 AM
How the high fees Clearing in and out of Chuuk can be minimized.

Published: 2013-03-04 09:52:23
Countries: Federated States of Micronesia

Several reports on Noonsite and elsewhere refer to inexplicable high charges at Chuuk and of Immigration specifically charging $40 without explanation or receipt. We were also target to this, having to pay a surprising $80 to Immigration on entry and a forewarned $280 official port charges on exit after 23 days.

My queries to FSM Immigration HQ remain unanswered, but my questions to several officials of the various departments have revealed the following cost structure in Chuuk:

  • Each official is entitled to an overtime fee if they perform their duties outside of working hours. The consensus was that although the amount is determined by pay grade it usually amounts to $20 per official. One official is sent per department except for Immigrations that sends two. Official hours are from 8:00 to 16:00, but lunch time is also billable and although most yachts would expect to wait until after lunch, many officials favor working during lunch time.  I received a variable response regarding exact lunch hours:  12:00 to 13:00 usually or sometimes 11:00 to 12:00.
  • Quarantine certificate $25 on entry.
  • Harbor dues payable on exit, calculated as below:-

Entry fee is $25.

Anchorage fee is $25 for the first 48 hours and $10 for each day thereafter.

Docking fee is $25 per occasion, exempted when performing clearance procedures only.

  • Customs - no charge.
  • Visa and visa extension - no charge.

Our experience, collaborated by several other yachts, was that some officials are sluggish in their response and try to delay their arrival until it falls either in lunch time or after hours, albeit just a couple of minutes. On our exit we employed the following procedure with very good result:

  • give each dept 48 hours notice
  • state a specific time for the appointment (early e. g . 9:00)
  • keep on phoning if they don’t arrive, either from the dock office or ask the officials who are on time to phone their colleagues
  • note openly the exact time of arrival and time of conclusion of official business
  • if (when) an official finds a reason to return to his office, agree on a time of return.

Chuuk Port control does not have a radio and you will not get a response on channel 16.

On entry, proceed to the harbor wall and then phone the relevant departments (repeatedly). The office at the wharf has a telephone that can be used for landlines only.

Port: Office 330-2592 Mobile 932-5510

Agriculture:  Mobile 930-1136

Customs: Office 330-4482 Mobile 931-8811

Immigration: Office 330-2335

Desiré Welgemoed

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