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Further Questions About New Chagos Regulations

By doina — last modified Dec 18, 2006 11:26 AM

Published: 2006-12-18 11:26:38
Countries: BIOT (Chagos)

Is it possible to obtain a permit without knowing the exact dates of arrival in Chagos?

The dates and location given on the new mooring permit will be when and where the yacht has permission to moor in the Territory. However, if there is any slippage, due to unforseen circumstances for example, the master can contact the BIOT Administration explaining the difficulty and a new permit can be issued, revoking the previous one.

Do you pay the new rates to the patrol boat or do I have to pay them in advance?

Payment of the fee should be made by bank transfer. The BOIT Administration is also hoping to have a secure way to receive payment by credit/debit card, ie via PayPal.

Does the permit allow cruising the islands or only one stop? How long does it take to get a permit? Is it mailed or emailed?

The BIOT Administration stat that they will be sending out, via e-mail, in due course, a permit request form, rules & regulations and specified mooring sites. The permit, when issued, will be sent via e-mail and will be issued once the mooring fee has been received by the BIOT Administration.

Here is the full text of the note handed out by British Forces to yachts already moored in the Territory.

Headquarters British Forces, British Indian Ocean Territory, DIEGO GARCIA BFPO 485

NOTICE TO ALL MARINERS OF NEW PROCEDURES WITHIN THE BIOT

As of 01 April 2007 anyone wishing to visit the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) by yacht will need to apply for a permit in advance from the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration (BIOTA) in London.

The mooring fee will also be increased from USD$100 for 3 months to GBP100 for 1 month, payable in advance (not £500 as previously reported by Noonsite)

On receipt of a request for a permit (sent by email, Fax or post) a Visit Permit Request form will be sent. Once the completed form and mooring fee (by bank transfer) have been received by the BIOTA office a Permit, Laws & Guidance for Visitors with charts and co-ordinates showing where yachts may be moored will be issued.

Please note, that under BIOT law, any person who enters the Territory, including its 3 mile wide territorial waters, without a permit is liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or a fine of up to £3000.

Mariners are also reminded that BIOT Customs will be enforcing British Indian Ocean Territory “The Imports and Exports Control Ordinance 1984” and “The Misuse of Drugs Ordinance No.5 of 1992”. The BIOT Drug dog will be deployed on future BIOT Patrols of the area. You are reminded that any breach of these ordinances may result in a fine or imprisonment.

The Island of Diego Garcia and surrounding territorial waters remain prohibited to all unauthorised vessels. Any Vessel entering Diego Garcia territorial waters is liable for interdiction and boarding.

D G Howard

British Representative, British Indian Ocean Territory

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