Attention Boaters - New Port of Entry Regulations will be passed effective May 15th

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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This is great news. via a Public Decree, the DR will pass legislation that will regulate marinas and authorities that control port of entry fees and procedures. Due to the high amount of corruption and unbelievable beauracracy previously experienced in this sector of the economy, it is great progress. Here are the main points:

Effective May 15th:

No more authorities board any boats during port of entry, unless there is suspicion of some kind that requires boarding. Captain will take boat documents and passports to officials land side.

There will be a fee of 5% charged on all dockage fees to all marinas, which will cover all fees for authorities like Marina de Guerra, Immigration, Immigration Tourism, Drug Control, Min. of Agriculture (animals), Ministry of Agriculture (Plants), Drug Control. (Previously, these authorities, or a combination of them, used to board boats and ask for various fees that they made up on the spot).

These authorities will no longer be allowed to collect any fees from boaters.
Port Authority will collect these fees from the marinas and distribute them to the relevant agencies.

Boaters clearing at their port of entry in the DR will receive a 'cruising permit' which will allow free entry and departure from all dominican ports.


Theoretically, if this works, it would be a huge improvement over the current situation which causes many boaters to skip the DR as a 'recreational' destination.

Practically, I don't see how the different authorities will be able to split up the money without fighting, but this will be their problem.

Its possible that some authorities will not respect the Port Authority's authority here, and try to collect fees anyhow. Also, I am sure they will find other ways to 'fleece' the boaters but it will be much harder now, especially since they plan to publish the new regulations on the internet and on signs in all marinas.

overall, great news for the boating industry in the DR!

Like anything else in this country, I will believe it when I see it, but we (Ocean World Marina) had a meeting with the Port Authority this morning, along with other marinas, where this was confirmed.

Previous versions of this legislation (quite scary ones actually, that would have killed all marinas in the country) had been floating around for the last few months.
 
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Conchman

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If this works as planned, I would have to take my hat off to the government and commend them greatly. This is a huge step in the right direction, to attract more boaters to this island.
 

Conchman

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these kinds of incidents is what keeps boaters away

some marinas can control the authorities but in areas like Luperon and Samana this is more difficult, as marinas are either not-existent or not really involved in the port of entry process.

at Ocean World Marina we had the problem that the Port Authority would charge foreign boaters a US$50 per week fee, which we had to agree to in order to get an operating license for the marina (we were told all marina will have this fee). This kept boats from staying long term as this fee will add up after a few months. In addition, other marinas didn't have this charge.

In addition, to get clearance to leave every marina and to have to wait for every authority to show up (sometimes taking all day), was a huge pain in the butt for all boaters who had already cleared customs/immigration etc and only wanted to go to another dominican port.
 
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AlaninDR

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Dec 17, 2002
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You say it "will be passed", i'm curious what that converts to in terms I understand. And what about those of us that paid the outrageous fees (approaching US$1000) for a cruising permit that did not exempt us from the US$20 fee for a day pass?
Sorry, but the DR has a rather exceptional record for shooting itself in the foot and snatching defeat from victory while the few profit. It's a great idea and well past due but a lot of damage has been done by the morons of govt and especially the Marina De Guerra. I still remember the evening I returned to port and was greeted by the military saying I owed money because I did not return when my four day permit said I should (I was a day early).
The stories I could tell about incompetence in DR.......
 

Conchman

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You say it "will be passed", i'm curious what that converts to in terms I understand. And what about those of us that paid the outrageous fees (approaching US$1000) for a cruising permit that did not exempt us from the US$20 fee for a day pass?
Sorry, but the DR has a rather exceptional record for shooting itself in the foot and snatching defeat from victory while the few profit. It's a great idea and well past due but a lot of damage has been done by the morons of govt and especially the Marina De Guerra. I still remember the evening I returned to port and was greeted by the military saying I owed money because I did not return when my four day permit said I should (I was a day early).
The stories I could tell about incompetence in DR.......

I believe the decree has been signed into law by the president, however, I cannot provide any source evidence right now but probably tomorrow.

Yes there are hundreds of stories like yours, people getting ripped off by authorities. This is a huge step in the right direction and could potentiall revolutionize the recreational yachting/boating industry in the DR.
 

Celt202

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May 22, 2004
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You say it "will be passed", i'm curious what that converts to in terms I understand. And what about those of us that paid the outrageous fees (approaching US$1000) for a cruising permit that did not exempt us from the US$20 fee for a day pass?
Sorry, but the DR has a rather exceptional record for shooting itself in the foot and snatching defeat from victory while the few profit. It's a great idea and well past due but a lot of damage has been done by the morons of govt and especially the Marina De Guerra. I still remember the evening I returned to port and was greeted by the military saying I owed money because I did not return when my four day permit said I should (I was a day early).
The stories I could tell about incompetence in DR.......

A day late and a dollar short?

Nope; a day early and a bag of pesos long.

What a country! :paranoid:
 

dreembot

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Oct 23, 2006
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what about luperon??????

:pirate: Who will collect these fees in luperon???? and how will they be regulated???? lots of boats here are not at marinas!! the country "cruising permit "sounds fabulous,as it has been a tremendous problem to leave here and go to another port in the country without delays and fees~~~~~~~~~
 

Conchman

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I also wonder what solution they will find in Luperon, maybe use 'mooring fees' or a percentage. Maybe the marinas with bigger tax income will end up funding non-taxed locations. I can find out what their plan is for Luperon and get back to the board after a few days.

I agree, implentation of this law will be key and provide a number of serious challenges to these government agencies, however, I am pretty certain* that this will be accomplished, they have put their mind to it.

Sort of like their attitude with the Metro, higher taxes, health care, drinking ban, etc projects where many people also thought it wouldn't be possible to achieve in the DR, they managed to accomplish it, no matter what people thought about it.

*from what I've seen and heard about it, and personally have done about it - e.g. I always told every tourism related politician about the potential economic benefits of changing the port of entry regulations.
 

MikeFisher

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Conchman,
good stuff to hear about that, would be a big improvement.
did you hear if it is planned that that "freedom of cruising permit" will also be given to dominican boats or is it only a sugarbabe for foreign boats?
as a matter of fact we dominican boat owners pass similar hassles when travelling within dominican waters from port to port, waiting for local commanders all day long and of course paying 'extra tips' to finally get a athority to sign the 'despacho' which states that a boat is permitted to leave it's regular port and enter/stay for some days at an other dominican port. i had it myself 2 months ago after i purchased a boat in boca chica (a legal dominican flagged sportfishing boat with all papers present and up to date) and brought it over here to Cabeza de Toro.
my crew spent in boca chica so much time waiting to get the "permission" to leave port heading for the short ride to Cabeza de Toro that they finally did just the shorter ride and had to spend the night at Saona Island and go on the next morning to Cabeza.
thanks for your great postings
Mike
 

Conchman

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yes it will apply to all boats, so I am being told.

by may 15th, you should be able to wave the law into the faces of authorities, and I'm sure they won't accept reality..lol..this will take a bit of time to implement and enforce according to the law..its so 'revolutionary.'

next week i should have the name and number of the presidential decree, as you will need this with the authorities who refuse to accept the new reality.
 

MikeFisher

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great news Conchman.
til now we need to get a "permiso" every morning to leave port for sportfishing and that one does only allow to fish the area here, would not allow to enter an other dominican port/marina and spend the night there.
on the other side i see the danger that authorities that way will def loose the control over the whereabouts of the registered boats, they could be ankered to spend the night at any dominican port or maybe spend the night offshore, and for wellknown reasons such is not much liked by authorities, at least not by the ones who are not involved in specific wateractivities.
Mike
 

mike l

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Sep 4, 2007
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It's great to hear that Sport Fishermen will now be able to leave port early enough to bring back their "Preferred Catch Of The Day".

The DR is definately not a Yachtsman's Paradise, but is less expensive than the other Islands where the Seas are calmer so you would think that the powers that be would recognize this.

What I don't like about living on the North Shore is the lack boating activity...it's a Sunday thing when there is no Football.
 

Conchman

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great news Conchman.
til now we need to get a "permiso" every morning to leave port for sportfishing and that one does only allow to fish the area here, would not allow to enter an other dominican port/marina and spend the night there.
on the other side i see the danger that authorities that way will def loose the control over the whereabouts of the registered boats, they could be ankered to spend the night at any dominican port or maybe spend the night offshore, and for wellknown reasons such is not much liked by authorities, at least not by the ones who are not involved in specific wateractivities.
Mike

if The Bahamas can deal with it, with 800 islands and no air force, with more area to cover than the DR shoreline, then the DR can handle it...most of the catching of the bad boys job goes to the US anyway,,,they let the actual bust up to the local authorities...normally...or bust the boat when it leaves the shores.....i am more worried about all the local gov. agencies with no more 'tip' income (or extortion..lol) and how they will cope..in the beginning i bet this will rough...
 

MikeFisher

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right,
it may be rough the first time but they will get the point,
and they finally have nothing to do against it, it's the law.
of course for a check on a boat coming in or back in they always can suspect there may be drugs on board and send their dogs on board,
such may take time and a 'detailed' check of a boat does usually not leave it in it's best shape, so a lil "Tip" can still be collected to teach the drugdogs to leave that boat clean and in it's top shape, ha ha.
i like your comparison to the Bahamas in case of size and number of islands, but the huge difference is the matter of fact that the bahamas are a way up there while the Dominican Republic is the world's number one throushipping location for all drugs from latin america shipped towards the USA and Europe.
and as a matter of fact only few involved boats are Dominican flagged/local boats, the drug boats are very often Puerto Rico, often US and including many register countries flagged.
i would appreciate to keep authorities on checking every vessel when coming in from an other country by sending the drug dogs on board,
there service fee should be a by law written and in the port-fee/docking fee included fee, otherwise we may open even more easier ways for those traffickers to walk throu our area with huge loads.
imagine such Yachts coming from the south coming in i.e. here to a east coast Marina knowing that authorities will not come on board, just the need to enter a port office and pay a few bucks for a passport stamp, refueling, maybe a few nights to relax, with an easily hidden Ton of drugs on board, so newly refueled the make from our shores the unsuspicious fishing-speed tour towards the Bahamas and on the waterways between those 800 lax-controlled Isles the can let their cargo float and local boats do their pick up.
i don't know how all that is handled by the authorities til now up there on the northshore, but over here foreign recreational/private boats coming in do not face the big hassle, they dock mostly at the fueling pier b/c they most likely need refueling anyways, show their papers and passports on the pier, not on board, and together with the captain in charge of the vessel one or two drugdogs get walked throu the boat, 20 minutes of time needed for that.
that procedure i do not see the need to change much,
the change should be the written fees including publishing them on the internet so visiting boaters know what's up and no extra propina required.
that a country runs detailed checks on oncoming vessels, specially a wellknown traffick coastline like the dominican coastlines, that i see as the most normal thing of customs/DNCD work.
if we enter any country by plane our luggage will be checked very detailed,
if we enter a country by car our vehicle gets checked, specially at the "well known high risk " borders, the same applies for the waterways.

MikeI,
we don't have much/nearly nothing of private boater activities over here,
only a few privately used small vessels around in the area, i guess your 'sunday action' is up there much more than our action over here in case of boating activities.

i hope they get a good paper out as a law and our own boats can finally travel hassle free within the own country/waterline.
nightfishing for swordfish/groupers/red snappers during the right tides/moon phases would add a lot to our provided sportfishing services.
we usually depend on the daytime fishing, but nature's circles provide different times at different spots to get the best out of the sport.

great postings Conchman,
keep up your top infos
Mike
 

Facility

New member
Sep 3, 2008
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A slight off-topic, if you don't mind

Just seing the term "Small Boat" used goot me interestedd:
Which size the boats have to be registered in DR? Some places I've been to only boats above 16' size are subject to POE rules, the smaller ones are exempt, and what about here?
 

Conchman

Silver
Jul 3, 2002
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right,
it may be rough the first time but they will get the point,
and they finally have nothing to do against it, it's the law.
of course for a check on a boat coming in or back in they always can suspect there may be drugs on board and send their dogs on board,
such may take time and a 'detailed' check of a boat does usually not leave it in it's best shape, so a lil "Tip" can still be collected to teach the drugdogs to leave that boat clean and in it's top shape, ha ha.
i like your comparison to the Bahamas in case of size and number of islands, but the huge difference is the matter of fact that the bahamas are a way up there while the Dominican Republic is the world's number one throushipping location for all drugs from latin america shipped towards the USA and Europe.
and as a matter of fact only few involved boats are Dominican flagged/local boats, the drug boats are very often Puerto Rico, often US and including many register countries flagged.
i would appreciate to keep authorities on checking every vessel when coming in from an other country by sending the drug dogs on board,
there service fee should be a by law written and in the port-fee/docking fee included fee, otherwise we may open even more easier ways for those traffickers to walk throu our area with huge loads.
imagine such Yachts coming from the south coming in i.e. here to a east coast Marina knowing that authorities will not come on board, just the need to enter a port office and pay a few bucks for a passport stamp, refueling, maybe a few nights to relax, with an easily hidden Ton of drugs on board, so newly refueled the make from our shores the unsuspicious fishing-speed tour towards the Bahamas and on the waterways between those 800 lax-controlled Isles the can let their cargo float and local boats do their pick up.
i don't know how all that is handled by the authorities til now up there on the northshore, but over here foreign recreational/private boats coming in do not face the big hassle, they dock mostly at the fueling pier b/c they most likely need refueling anyways, show their papers and passports on the pier, not on board, and together with the captain in charge of the vessel one or two drugdogs get walked throu the boat, 20 minutes of time needed for that.
that procedure i do not see the need to change much,
the change should be the written fees including publishing them on the internet so visiting boaters know what's up and no extra propina required.
that a country runs detailed checks on oncoming vessels, specially a wellknown traffick coastline like the dominican coastlines, that i see as the most normal thing of customs/DNCD work.
if we enter any country by plane our luggage will be checked very detailed,
if we enter a country by car our vehicle gets checked, specially at the "well known high risk " borders, the same applies for the waterways.

MikeI,
we don't have much/nearly nothing of private boater activities over here,
only a few privately used small vessels around in the area, i guess your 'sunday action' is up there much more than our action over here in case of boating activities.

i hope they get a good paper out as a law and our own boats can finally travel hassle free within the own country/waterline.
nightfishing for swordfish/groupers/red snappers during the right tides/moon phases would add a lot to our provided sportfishing services.
we usually depend on the daytime fishing, but nature's circles provide different times at different spots to get the best out of the sport.

great postings Conchman,
keep up your top infos
Mike

The Bahamas, more so in the past, had been a much bigger transshipment area than the DR, because of the number of small island with small airstrips, vast area, and most important, the proximity to the US where small go fast boats can make the run to the US in a days run and can easily 'get lost' with other recreational boats in south florida. However, The Bahamas allowed US Coast Guard and DEA helicopter bases and radar balloons that tracked planes and their 'drops' and then intercepted the boats after loading.

Simple boarding of random boats usually doesnt achieve much, most of the busts come from inside information and tracking of planes and their drops via radar and now satellites.

Even on touristy Paradise Island, in the early 80's you could hear planes at night without lights and then all of a sudden you'd hear boats without lights leaving, about an hour later you would hear them come back.

The US ended up putting a lot of political pressure and threatening the tourism industry if they didnt cooperate.