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Report On Checking in at Neiafu, Tonga

By doina — last modified Nov 30, 2006 01:52 PM

Published: 2006-11-30 13:52:21
Countries: Tonga

Customs will insist you move your boat to the commercial pier, putting you at great risk of damage. If you picked up a mooring, arriving after hours, customs will still insist you bring your boat to the wharf to be checked in. Pads, designed for large commercial shipping, extend out from the wharf 4 to 6 feet above the water. It is impossible to use fenders. Several people were injured this year and boat damage is common.

Numerous complaints were made this year of customs clearance in Neiafu. Theft is common and you must ensure that someone is always available to chaperone officials while you fill out paperwork. Others had food confiscated, snacks in particular, then watched as the officials ate it on board. Handouts of ropes, tobacco, liquor and fishing equipment were also demanded.

These problems are listed in the Tonga Guide book inaccurately, quoting the problem as occuring in Nuku'alofa rather then Neiafu. Customs in Nuku'alofa has been reported as courteous and professional.

Spike Jackson