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Vanuatu: Yacht penalized for calling into Port Resolution unannounced

By Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue — last modified Aug 31, 2014 04:53 PM
The skipper of a yacht of French national was penalised by Lenakel Customs for calling into the undeclared port of Port Resolution on the island of Tanna unannounced. The vessel was on its way from Tarawa, Kiribati to Bundaberg, Australia on 5th August 2014.

Published: 2014-08-12 23:00:00
Countries: Vanuatu

Further to arriving unannounced at an undeclared port, the skipper disembarked the vessel without clearance and took a public transport to Lenakel to see Customs. Upon arrival at the Customs office in Lenakel, Customs had no choice but to penalise the skipper for the three offences committed.

This is not the first time that a yacht has been penalised this season for the above offences.

Yachts are therefore being reminded again that the maximum penalty for failing to inform Customs of their arrival in Vanuatu or for arriving at an undeclared port, and disembarking prior to clearance are separate offences and are each liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine not exceeding VT5,000,000, or both.

Vanuatu has been used a lot in recent years as a transit point for smuggling contrabands into Australia, mainly. Vanuatu Customs cannot tolerate these risks anymore and has therefore stepped up on its border control efforts in 2014. It is worth noting that on the other hand, legitimate visitors can experience a higher level of facilitation by Vanuatu Customs to visit the islands of Vanuatu. Vanuatu Customs hope this would bring about some economic benefits to the islands while at the same time give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the islands.

For more information, click on Yacht clearance.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 31, 2014 04:53 PM

A French yacht was penalised on 14th August for calling into Luganville, Santo, unannounced and without the required certificate of departure from its last port (Noumea, New Caledonia). In addition none of the crew had had their passports stamped by immigration in Noumea, which meant they were also penalised by the immigration office in Vanuatu as well as by Customs.
A Canadian yacht was penalised on 25th August and a French yacht was penalised on 26th August for calling into Anelcauhat on Aneityum unannounced and without any approval from the Director of Customs. Both yachts arrived from New Caledonia.
Getting prior approval to clear in or out of an undeclared port of entry is reported to be simple and straightforward. See the Vanauatu Formalities page on noonsite for further details.

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