The government of The Bahamas has announced that, after 16 years, there is to be a change in the structure of fees applied to entering Bahamian waters for recreational boating purposes. The new fee structure will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Fees were last adjusted in 2003.
The increases have been discussed publicly, but only just recently were posted to official Bahamas websites.
According to the government announcement, entry fees contribute to efforts to secure the 100,000 square miles of ocean within The Bahamas and make them safer for boating. "The efforts made to date have earned the archipelago an unrivalled record for boating safety," it said.
The following fees will be applied to boats staying in The Bahamas for up to 3 months:
· Boats up to 34 feet: $150 (no change)
· Boats 35-99 feet: $300 (no change)
· Boats 100-149 feet: $500
· Boats 150-200 feet: $800
· Boats over 200 feet: $1,000
The fees cover both a cruising permit and fishing permit, as well as the departure tax for up to three people. Each additional person will be charged a $20 departure tax. The fee is good for a second re-entry within a 90-day period.
For stays longer than 3 months:
· Boats up to 34 feet: $300 annually
· Boats 35-99 feet: $600 annually
· Boats 100-149 feet: $1,000 annually
· Boats over 150 - 200 feet: $1,600 annually
· Boats over 200 feet: $2,000 annually
For a stay longer than 12 months, special arrangements must be made with Bahamas Customs and Immigration.
Please note that attendance fees, fishing permit, transportation and overtime fees are all included in the price of the cruising permit. The only additional fees would be for additional departure tax if there are more than 3 persons at a cost of $20 per additional person.
It is also illegal to tip government employees. Boaters are asked to report if they are ever asked for these types of payments to the local marina manger or dockmaster.
The people from Tula's Endless Summer were allowed to videotape the entire clearance process earlier this year at Great Harbour Cay. The interaction with Bahamian officials begins at around minute 8.