Grenada Introduces One-Page Clearance Form
From 1 February, Grenada has simplified the clearance procedure for both shipping and yachts with the introduction of a one-page clearance form. This greatly reduces the amount of paperwork required for vessels entering and leaving the waters of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
The previous requirements of crew list, Grenada Customs Form and Grenada Port Authority have been amalgamated into the one new clearance form. This form consists of six self-carboned copies, which once completed, are distributed to the relevant offices. The new form must be completed on entering, and again when clearing from Grenada. Yachts no longer need to carry large numbers of crew list copies to clear into Grenada, or purchase crew list copies from Immigration when clearing out.
The creation of the form was a collaborative effort between the Grenada Board of Tourism, the Department of Customs & Excise, the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG), the Grenada Ports Authority and the Department of Immigration.
To coincide with the introduction of the one-page form, the Customs Department has been conducting training seminars for its officers at all of the island's marinas and ports of entry. These seminars will equip officers with the necessary skills to make the transition to the new system. They will also provide customer service training to the officers.
Danny Donelan, Cruise & Yachting Development Officer of the Grenada Board of Tourism, says, "The form, as well as the training, comes at a very good time as the marine services sector in Grenada enjoys rapid growth and expansion. The public and private sector are therefore excited about this development, which they consider as the first step towards the further facilitation of the clearing process. These measures, along with the construction of new marinas, serve to put Grenada in a position that makes it a worthy competitor among the yachting destinations of the Southern Caribbean."
Laura Fletcher, President of MAYAG, has written an open letter to Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell "to publicly share our appreciation to the Government of Grenada regarding the introduction of a one-page clearance form. Particular mention has to go to Customs and Excise, the Royal Grenada Police Force (Immigration), Grenada Ports Authority and Grenada Board of Tourism for their tremendous support, understanding and willingness to take this from a concept to a reality."
She adds, "Having all the relevant information on one page should streamline the clearing in and out process for our clients, and satisfy the requirements of the authorities while easing the collating of data for our statistical departments, which will therefore aid all of us to plan better for the sector."
Vessels and crew wishing to clear into Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique should proceed directly to an official port of entry, and anchor with the yellow Q flag clearly visible until the clearance formalities have been completed. The captain must notify authorities of the arrival of his/her yacht within two hours of arrival.
The official ports of entry are: Hillsborough on the island of Carriacou, and, on the island of Grenada, the Grenada Yacht Club at St. George's Lagoon; Prickly Bay Marina at Prickly Bay; Grenada Marine at St. David's Harbour; and the town of Grenville on the windward coast. In Carriacou, the Ports Authority office must be visited in addition to the Customs and the Immigration departments. (These offices are all located on the same street in Hillsborough.) In Grenada, the Customs officer accepts the formalities and payments on behalf of the Ports Authority.
It is customary for the captain to deal with the clearance procedures on behalf of the crew and passengers. The charges are applicable each time a vessel clears in and are valid for the entire duration of the visit. An official receipt should be issued for all monies paid.
Yachts are required to obtain a Cruising Permit. The charges, by length, are as follows:
Not exceeding 40 feet EC$50
40 to 60 feet EC$75
60 to 80 feet EC$100
Exceeding 80 feet EC$150
In addition, there is a Cruise Levy of EC$8.10 per person per visit and Grenada Ports Authority charges.
US, Canadian and British citizens do not require a passport or visa to enter Grenada provided that two documents (a state registered birth certificate and either a voter registration/valid driving license) proving citizenship is presented. Visitors must also NOT seek employment while in the state unless furnished with an official work permit issued by the Minister of Labour. The amount of time issued is at the discretion of the particular officer; however in most cases a couple of weeks are extended.
Office Opening Hours
Customs and immigration offices at marine bases are generally open at 0800 to 1200 and 1300 to 1600 hours, Monday to Friday. For the convenience of both officer and client, MAYAG suggest attending the office by 1500 to complete formalities before the end of the working day.
Since the enactment of the Yachting Act of 2000, the government of Grenada now covers overtime for Customs officials operating special arrangements for visitors. Special arrangements involve making provisions with the relevant officer, at least the day before, AND by making application using the Customs Form C18. This is in order to facilitate clearance on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between the hours of 0900 and 1400. Outside of these times, boaters are asked to make contact with the relevant marine base, who will endeavour to communicate with the pertinent officers.
Immigration officers are paid EC$19.60 per hour on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays for overtime.
Departing by Boat
Clear out between normal working hours, Monday to Friday, and leave within 24 hours.
New Form Downloadable
Both MAYAG (www.grenadamarine.com/mayag) and the Grenada Board of Tourism (www.grenadagrenadines.com) will soon have the new one-page forms on their websites so that they can be downloaded and filled out by yacht skippers before going ashore to clear in or out. Even skippers without a computer onboard can download the forms at an internet café in another port, and fill them out at their leisure before arrival in Grenada. (Remember, though, that downloaded forms won't be self-carboned.) Having the completed forms in hand is sure to further streamline the clearance process in Grenada.
Copyright© 2006 Compass Publishing