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By No owner — last modified Dec 20, 2012 04:27 PM

 Haiti - Formalities

Clearance

Haiti has no official ports of entry for sailing vessels, however inward clearance can be carried out at any sea port that deals with commercial shipping.

All harbors do not follow the same clearance procedure or charge the same price.  For the time being, the north side of the north Penisula has the most commercial traffic and they will look to capitalize on any yacht that calls there (see Fees below for charges in Cap Haitian). On the south side of the country where there is less commercial traffic, it is definitely easier and less expensive to clear in.

Larger ports will treat you as they do commercial shipping, which can be expensive and complicated. In smaller harbours, it is only necessary to clear with immigration.

Yacht crew should clear-in with immigration (who will stamp a crew list if asked), get their passports stamped and do the same when clearing out. They will not give you any paperwork, such as a despacho or departure documents. If staying a short time it is probably possible to clear in and out at the same time.

There really is no yacht traffic in Haiti.  If one presents oneself at the Customs office, most often they are not interested or not available.  The law does require customs clearance for anyone arriving with something to declare, but yachts do not usually have anything to declare.  At this time it is probably best to avoid the customs office.

Semana is the government body charged with boat safety.  It was designed to protect Haitians for the many ferry boats that they use.  If a Semana inspector sees your boat he may very well visit you and ask for something in the way of a tip.  As the law is ambiguous as to whether he has jurisdiction over private yachts that do not carry passengers, one can beg off and refuse to pay anything or give a small gift.

Entrance and departure fees vary depending on where you clear. See Fees for more details.

Last updated April 2014.

Immigration

All visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months.

One does not need a visa to visit Haiti but one must present ones' passport which will be stamped.

Visit immigration on arrival and departure. See fees below.

Last updated April 2014.

Customs

There is no limit on the length of time a yacht may stay as long as one remains in contact with the authorities.

There really is no yacht traffic in Haiti.  If one presents oneself at the Customs office, most often they are not interested or not available.  The law does require customs clearance for anyone arriving with something to declare, but yachts do not usually have anything to declare.  At this time it is probably best to avoid the customs office.

Firearms must be declared, and an authorisation for their possession must be shown to the police, plus a description of the firearms and the reasons for possessing them. Firearms must be kept on board.

Last updated April 2014.

Health

Malaria prophylaxis is recommended. There is a red alert on AIDS.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A inocculations are also required. Hepatitis B, meningococcal meningitis as well as rabies are all present.

The risk of contracting Cholera is high.

All water should be regarded as unsafe. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Salads and unpeeled fruit avoided.

Medical facilities in Haiti are almost non-existent.

Last updated April 2014.

Fees

Immigration charge $10 per passport for clearing in, and the same when clearing out. However, in some places in Haiti, charges can be higher ($20 in Jacmel for example).

In Ile a Vache port charges of US$50 per day may be charged if berthed alongside a quay. Light dues (nominal charge) are also payable.

In Cap Haiten (North Haiti) cruisers were initially charged US$350 per boat for clearance, however this was negotiated down to US$100 per boat (all inclusive of entering, customs, immigration, staying at the dock, exiting, etc.)

Last updated April 2014.

Local Customs

It is best to give charity only to well known and well established agencies such as Sister Flora who runs the orphanage at Ile a Vache.  Direct handouts are a bad idea and will create a line that is non stop.  The children visiting your boat in canoes will tell you they are hungry.  That is their merchandise in trade.  They are not hungry, but they want to get on the boat to get something.  Most kids in most small communities go to school, are clean and well manicured and have uniforms - even though their families have a hard time making ends meet.

Pets

Animals must be declared to customs

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roark.hennessy@gmail.com
roark.hennessy@gmail.com says:
Mar 21, 2014 01:01 PM

We recently visited Haiti on our journey through the windward passage. We are thankful for the guidance that Frank V. gave us on where to stop. If you happen to be traveling the same route, you should stop at the small fishing village just under the northern peninsula. It breaks up the long sail, and is a good place to rest. The people in the village are extremely nice, and very helpful. Nobody asked us for money or bothered us in anyway. There was a gentlemen name College who spoke pretty good english. He asked me to convey the real needs of the village where supplies. Especially things like paint (for the school), pens, pencils, and paper (for the kids), used or old sails for the fishermen, etc. After our initial anchoring, we were greeted by the fishermen, and taken ashore by College and his brother. We were given a tour of the village, and then played limbo, and jump rope with the children. It was an awesome visit. The anchorage is good for any easterlies, but it can be a bit rolly. Email Frank for the coordinates.

Roark&Sheri
s/v Island Pearl

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 21, 2014 02:46 PM

For Frank's contact details, see Haiti Cruising Guide (free) under Publications - http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Haiti?rc=GeneralInfo#Publications

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