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Protest Against Controversial Local Fees in Phuket

By doina — last modified Feb 02, 2004 01:55 PM

Published: 2004-02-02 13:55:08
Countries: Thailand

The authorities have reintroduced controversial local council fees for yachts checking into Phuket. No on-shore facilities (eg garbage collection for yachts) are provided in return. Phuket had similar fees years ago and then dropped them as most if not all boats were going to Krabi to avoid the fee.

The minimum fee is around 300 Baht if one states that one is not staying in Phuket but heading for Krabi Province after checking in. Otherwise, for any yacht entering Phuket, the fees are as follows:

(1) length less than 50 feet: 1 week, 300 Baht; 1 Month, 1,000 Baht; 2 Months, 1,800 Baht.

(2) yachts whose length is 50 feet & more: 1 Week, 500 Baht; 1 Month, 1,600 Baht; 2 Months, 3,000 Baht. There is also a fee for anchoring or tying -up in Chalong yacht harbour or vicinity of 500 Baht per month. Yachts are therefore advised to clear in in Krabi Province or Satun where these fees are not charged.

Ways around it or how to reduce it.

If you must check in to Chalong always say that you are only staying long enough to provision your boat and will be proceeding to Krabi Province or Phang Nga province. You will then have to pay the minimum one-week fee of 300 / 500 dependant on length. Yachts can complete the form in advance (see http://www.noonsite.com/Members/doina/R2004-02-02-1

It may be possible not to pay the fee, if one states one is only staying long enough to check in and provision.

When you come back to check out reconfirm that you have not been in Phuket. It may even be worthwhile getting an outward clearance from the Harbour Master to confirm you are going. In fact you should get the clearance to Krabi. Never say that you anchor in Chalong Bay. Say you are staying in Kata or check your charts for a bay further north.

Satun

To check into Satun you will have to go up the river and anchor. They have minimal fees and no entry fee as Phuket.

Krabi

Krabi is quite simple. You can anchor at Ao Nang Beach and take a bus for 20 Baht to Krabi Town and request to be dropped off at Immigration. A short walk from Immigration you will find Customs. Fees are minimal with much less paperwork. You then get a motorcycle taxi to the harbour masters office which is just before the new ferry jetty. Ask the motorcycle taxi to wait and take you back to Ao Nang Beach. That is all that is required.

*** In protest I would say that everyone simply walk into the One Stop Check in Shop at Chalong and voice their protest of the fees charged by the local council that has nothing to do with the marine side of Phuket. I would ask then what we are getting for this fee ( the answer is nothing). I would then walk out of the office informing them quite clearly that you are going to Krabi to check in. The more people that do this the sooner it will be that they drop the fee once again.

Don't let them intimidate you. Immigration /Customs and the Harbour Master are separate departments from Chalong District who are the collectors of the fee. Please do not put too much pressure on the person collecting the fee as they are only workers carrying out their job.

Richard Beasley, Phuket

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