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Costa Rica Yacht Club Puntarenas Clearance Updates

By doina — last modified May 06, 2008 11:49 AM

Published: 2008-05-06 11:49:11
Countries: Costa Rica

Due to unsettled disputes between Costa Rica Yacht Club management and the port authorities there is no guarantee that you can enter the marina and get clearance in the marina. Personally I had to wait 27 hrs in front of the fishery port while no officials wanted to talk to us just to the fact that we were to enter the marina.

Rather complicated as you can only enter the marina by high tide. We almost lost our international flights on that account.

Had my boat hauled out and painted. When I inspected the work, in water already, the zinc anoids were missing and no one wanted to reply on that. Also the rudder had not been painted on its top.

Departure clearance is rather bureaucratic:

Clearance Puntarenas

  • Call International Port Authorities in Caldera (Capitanía Caldera - located 15 miles south of Puntarenas) on channel 16
  • Anchor or tie up at a mooring in front of the Fishery marine inside the mangrove (this is about as far as you can get at low tide) and wait to be boarded by immigration, International Port Authorities and for Agriculture inspection (a fee must be paid on a bank account of Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) for this service).
  • After having cleared in internationally it is enough to obtain and present your zarpe (sailing permit) at the office of the national port authorities. Such an office exists in Puntarenas just behind the Fisheries marine area.
  • Sometimes you can be allowed to enter the Costa Rica Yacht Club (CRY) and do the procedure in the Marine but due to an institutional conflict between CRY and the authorities this service cannot be guaranteed (I had to sit as long as 27 hrs without getting a visit from the authorities only because I was to become a customer of the CRY and because yachts are last priority in this primarily commercial harbor.

Clearing out

  • Pay 20USD in Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) according to law 8000. Go to plataforma and not to the ordinary service windows. This fee is for a 37 ft boat and will go up from a certain unknown size (check Port Authorities in Caldera)
  • Present your bank receipt at the municipality building where they will charge you another 20USD tax (to be paid in a bank inside the municipality).
  • Captain must go to immigration office with 4 crew lists and all the boats papers and passports, where they will stamp your passports out and hand over a clearance paper for the boat.
  • Buy 105 colónes worth of stamps in front of the law house.
  • Take a taxi (15USD round trip including waiting time) or bus to Caldera and present first your temporary import documents for the yacht to the customs office at the end of the terminal
  • Then move to the Capitanía building on the left hand side just before the exit from the terminal and show all the papers obtained so far including you municipality tax receipt and the tax stamps (105 CRC bought somewhere in Puntaarenas) for your international zarpe (timba).

Note: You have only 3 hrs from leaving the immigration office till you present yourself in Caldera, otherwise you must start the procedure over again.

Claus Kjaerby

Representative for the DANISH OCEAN CRUISING ASSOCIATION in Nicaragua