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Fiji - Checking into Lautoka

By Sue Richards last modified May 03, 2011 06:28 PM

Published: 2011-05-03 18:28:06
Countries: Fiji

We checked into Fiji at the official port of entry - Lautoka, on April 26, 2011.

We called "Port Control" on the VHF, and were told to anchor, then call back. When we called back we were directed to bring our documentation to the Queen's Wharf in our dinghy (one cruiser did not have a dinghy and they were going to charge him $250 FD to tie his sailboat up to the wharf). The landing for the dinghies is on the NE side of the wharf where there are steps and a rusting railing. We used our "anchor buddy" to hold our RIB dink off the nasty concrete dock.

First, and the most important thing, you must send the 2-C2 form, the "Advance Arrival Notification Form", 48 hours prior to arrival. We faxed our 2-C2 form about two weeks before we left New Zealand. We were not sure if the Fiji officials got the fax, so we emailed the form as well and asked for acknowlegment of receipt - which they emailed back.

We were seen first by the health inspector (who had taken a taxi out because they knew we were coming), and filled out a form (...is there plague on board your vessel?).

Then we saw the customs officer who also is the immigration officer. It all went smoothly even though there are copius forms to fill out in duplicate (they use carbon paper?).

The fee for checking in (two persons) was $172.50 Fiji dollars for the health clearance, plus $6 FD for the taxi fare for the health person. Everything else was no charge, and Mohammed, the customs agent, gave us a ride in and back to town to the ATM.

All painless, but be sure and send in the 2-C2 48 hours prior to arrival and have Patience! If you want to make it go faster, go to the Fiji Customs website and download the necessary forms and fill in the forms in duplicate.

By the way, Fiji requires cruisers to check out and check in to each entry port's cruising area - same forms.

Gordon Cornett

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