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Old 08-08-2007, 08:31 PM   #1
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http://www.noonsite.com/Members/doina/R2007-07-27-2

Ecuador will now treat foreign yachts as commercial ships. A new computer tracking system (SITRAME) designed for commercial shipping has been introduced and yachts are to be incorporated into this. All yachts must now use an agent to clear in and out of the country, and also in and out of each port in Ecuador.

Agents fees range from US$150 to $200, and there are some other fees also. An agent fee must be paid for each clearance whether domestic or international.

Yachts sailing from one Ecuadorean port to another must obtain a domestic zarpe, while yachts leaving the country will require an international zarpe. In either case the yacht must provide a Sail Plan with details of waypoints on your intended route to the next port or out of territorial waters, along with predicted date and time of arrival. The authorities must be informed if you deviate more than 25 miles from your intended route or change your port of destination.

================================================== ===============

Should be interesting to see how long it takes for them to realize the impact this will have on local economies that support yachting and boating.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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Should be interesting to see how long it takes for them to realize the impact this will have on local economies that support yachting and boating
It won't take long.

Damn stupid!
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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I've heard that the Galapagos have their own clearing process for yachts, however it will be interesting to see if they are forced to comply with the mainland Ecuador procedures. If they do, and they force me to pay on each landfall and provide waypoints, I'll skip the Galapagos.

This will make my original question here about the jumping-off point much easier to make.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:55 PM   #4
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What they are thinking, I guess, is that we are able to sail because they perceive us to be wealthy. It's getting tougher all the time. See my post on lock fees yesterday. Trim will incur a 'gate' fee of $365, plus normal berthing fees for the privilege of staying in Darwin's Cullen Bay Marina.

Already there are more empty berths this year than last as prudent skippers choose the less expensive options. As Lighthouse remarked, it didn't take long.

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Old 08-08-2007, 09:31 PM   #5
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It truly amazes me...don't they know that most of us will be on a fixed budget for many years and a fee of more than $100 gets scrutinized against the anchor everytime.
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:47 PM   #6
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Same problem in Sri Lanka - Galle Harbour besides being a mess after the Tsunami , now only sees the occasional yacht stopping for fuel. Huge shock to find they have to use the agent and pay for the privilege.

I suppose if you are hell bent on shooting yourself, you might as well choose your foot !!
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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ok yet another stupid newby question on my part... what happens is you are found anchored in a countries waters (not doing anything, not coming ahore) and you are not cleared in?? do they just tell you to leave? fine you? detain you? how can they validate that you didn't intend to clear in?

thanks

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Old 08-09-2007, 01:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist View Post
ok yet another stupid newby question on my part... what happens is you are found anchored in a countries waters (not doing anything, not coming ahore) and you are not cleared in?? do they just tell you to leave? fine you? detain you? how can they validate that you didn't intend to clear in?

thanks

J
Not Stupid !! whilst on passage in S.E.Asia , Generally speaking you may take shelter in anchorages , stop for the night somewhere to avoid fishing activities, nets etc.. , stop for repairs , take on fuel from barges (and in remote coastal villages get fuel)

However, going ashore without clearing in to a "clearing port" can result in BIG problems - Indonesia in particular - Aceh province still a nono without permission.

Thailand authorities will take note of the date of your clearing out from another country - take for example :- you leave Langkawi Malaysia on the 15th August bound for Phuket Thailand and you arrive at the immigration office in Phuket on the 6th of September - you better have a VERY good alibi as to where have you been. since it only takes 1 day to leave Malaysian waters to arrive in Thai waters.

Essentially, "staying on board at anchor" (not on a mooring or a berth) is OK for a day or two.

But, don't lockup your boat and go to town to get money from the ATM or visit the Cyber Cafe to send emails to your beloved - if you do sod's law will make sure that your visit will have been noticed.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:25 AM   #9
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Generally speaking you may take shelter in anchorages , stop for the night somewhere to avoid fishing activities, nets etc.. , stop for repairs , take on fuel from barges (and in remote coastal villages get fuel)
This is a delicate issue and not so simple.

The Law of the Sea Convention, UNCLOS, is absolutely clear on the issue. The only thing you have a right to in another coastal state's waters is innocent passage. Innocent passage means just what it says.....innocent as you do no damage to the coastal state (i.e. no surveying, no fishing, no disturbances, no shooting etc) ......and passage as you maintain courses and speed commencurate with your voyage (i.e. direct passage through archipelagos, no taking of the "scenic route" and no anchoring.) If you do anchor, you are no longer "on passage". You may certainly not go ashore nor have any physical contact with the coastal state or with boats coming out from that state with the exception of official craft such as coast guard cutters, warships, pilot boats etc.

You have the right to seek port for force majeur. That includes any unforceable incident which influences the safety of the vessel such as sheltering from a severe storm, making essential repairs, medical emergencies etc. It does not include bunkering unless it has become necessary due to say fuel contamination rather than an operative re-fueling stop or avoiding fishing activities (take another route or heave to during the hours of darkness). Even in the case of force majeur, when breaking off from "innocent passage" you should contact the authories. Some may simply say, "that's ok"; others may demand that you complete clearing-in formalities.

Please note that this is not my opinion of what is good or bad but just the way UNCLOS is written and interpreted.

Some countries are easy-going and have a very liberal interpretation of what a yacht on innocent passage may or may not do. Others are not so generous. In essence, you need to establish the praxis of the coastal state.

The question is certainly not stupid. Learned ladies and gentlemen have discussed this and other issues for years.

Aye

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Old 08-09-2007, 11:31 AM   #10
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The response given to Atavist's question related solely to the current practice in force in countries of South East Asia. Reference was made to the Coastal State of Indonesia who have adopted laws and regulations pertaining to innocent passage - the CAIT is one example and the other was the total exclusion of all ships (including cruising yachts from the 24 nm zone surrounding Aceh Province) Vietnam is another Coastal State that regulates innocent passage. Cambodia gives permission through a tedious process.

Thailand has no published regulations - the enforcement of UNCLOS is not followed - rather the individual Immigration or Customs officer decides if you have taken advantage of the Laissez-faire rules governing a slow arrival into a recognised clearing port.

Therefore in South East Asia Waters for at least the last 25 years innocent passage means generally speaking you may take shelter in anchorages , stop for the night somewhere to avoid fishing activities, nets etc.. , stop for repairs , take on fuel from barges (and in remote coastal villages get fuel)

To reiterate the practice pertaining to these specific waters :-

Essentially, "staying on board at anchor" (not on a mooring or a berth) is OK for a day or two.

But, don't lockup your boat and go to town to get money from the ATM or visit the Cyber Cafe to send emails to your beloved - if you do, sod's law will make sure that your visit will have been noticed.

Article 21

Laws and regulations of the coastal State relating to innocent passage

1. The coastal State may adopt laws and regulations, in conformity with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law, relating to innocent passage through the territorial sea.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:40 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info... strange that some countries maritime laws are SO different... I mean I can understand why a state at war would have strict laws for security... but Ecuador, Indonesia?? ... ... but then I guess they have other concerns like drug and human trafficing.. but still I always thought Ecuador was a super tourist friendly place... why on earth would they make yachties use an agent... as everyone else said... how stupid...
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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I believe this could be the answer to my question..."What are they thinking?"

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...va&aid=4633

From On January 15, Ecuador’s new president, Rafael Correa Delgado, was sworn in, promising to build “socialism of the 21st century” to overcome the poverty and instability of the small Andean country.

Another priority for Correa is Ecuador’s foreign debt, estimated in November last year at over 25% of the country’s GDP. Correa has suggested that at least part of the debt may be illegal, and is planning to renegotiate, or possibly default on it. He has also called for an international debt tribunal to prevent the exploitation of debt-ridden countries and has threatened to cut ties with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

I wonder if the US can get in on this "Debt Tribunal"
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:11 AM   #13
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There go's my trip to Ecuador. I plan to have fun wherever I go, not hassles. I get those in California. I sailed into a few wars in 1979 around Central America. Don't plan on any more. Hate rip-offs.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:01 AM   #14
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Now, why would Ecuador, or any other government, care about some foreigner's financial considerations? Our own government is clueless, so you shouldn't expect another government to be more knowledgeable. That said, we loved Ecuador and its citizens, but there is no question that it has problems. Sounds as if Correa is taking instructions from Venezuela, among other debt-ridden socialist countries.

When we were in Salinas, there were four foreign yachts (including us) who entered between the end of November and March. Not a buzz of activity, and their presence or absence has close to zero effect on the local economy. The yacht club there was open only to Ecuadorians, was incredibly luxurious, and local laborers were employed there but were watched with a great deal of suspicion by the members. Spoiled brat kids zooming around on their PWCs, treating the laborers like trash.

Manta, Ecuador was better-known, but not necessarily a better destination, and saw few yachts.

If you've not been to Ecuador, you couldn't appreciate the embarrassing discrepancies between rich and poor. Rich means blond, blue-eyed, American or German extraction. Lots of expats hobnobbing with the wealthy Ecuadorians. Poor means "indio" (indigenous peoples) or "mestizo" (mixed blood, Indio + other). The lady who did our laundry (Salinas is dry as dust, water is a real hassle to obtain) lived in a room that was a piece of corrugated metal roofing, probably pulled from a dump somewhere, leaning against the remaining block wall of a tumble-down building. The only furniture was a table and chair and two hammocks. The climate is benign, but still, sometimes it rains.

The Caribbean island of Grenada used to have locals sitting at desks in the Immigration office, offering their services as a clearing agent. Yachts visiting Sri Lanka used to use an agent. The Panama Canal is another place where agents offer their services to transiting yachts. Venezuela entry was convoluted and tiresome so most yachts in the 80s and early 90s used an agent to clear in and out (don't know what's happening now). None of these places REQUIRED an agent, (though I'm not sure about Sri Lanka), and with regard to Grenada and Panama Canal, it was a clear waste of money, but some yachts paid it anyway.

You might want to join the Seven Seas Cruising Association (www.ssca.org). There is an SSCA cruising station in Ecuador, though I don't see that it helps any. The scuttlebut is that these new fees, ridiculously expensive, will drive away cruising yachts.

I might point out that Venezuela enacted similar regulations and fees against visiting yachts many years ago. Yachties made a big stink, nothing changed, they continued to visit because VZ was such a bargain, even with the fees. Lately, the criminal element in VZ has done more to keep yachts away than the VZ fees.

It should be kept in mind that many of the supplies that yachts purchase are subsidized by the government in these countries, and some of the fees are/were a way of reducing the burden on the government - a legitimate goal, IMO. Diesel in VZ was so cheap (less than 10 cents a gallon) that all the fuel-guzzling sport fishing boats stopped there to fill up. Among other items, coffee, cigarettes, liquor, and beer were subsidized and yachties left the country with lots of it, at local prices. Again, no mechanism for charging a second price to the visiting yachts. Of course the governments should be creative enough to find a less heavy-handed way to deal with these issues, but since when are government officials creative? Besides, lots of this is simply showmanship - proving to the voters that their government is soaking the rich to help the poor. And? Can you give me three examples of countries where this is not done?

It is annoying sometimes, but we aren't treated that much better in the US.

To keep things in perspective, regulations against private yachts in the US were far more stringent than against commercial shipping or householders. For example, Tributyl tin additive was prohibited in private yachts' bottom paint, but not in commercial ships'. And TBT was sold in every hardware store for addition to house paint as a mold preventative. There are still a whole lot more houses adjacent to the water than there are yachts, so the prohibition was certainly more a gesture than a true effort to remove TBT from the waters of harbors and bays. Holding tanks were required for yachts long before they were required for cruise ships.

We can boycott foreign destinations, but it's hard to boycott our own country.

More practicalities. When a boat needs to anchor someplace for the night but does not want to/cannot clear in to the country (cannot - the anchorage is not an entry port), usually all he need do is fly his "Q" flag and NOT LEAVE THE BOAT. We've never been somewhere that we got into trouble doing this, even New Caledonia which gets very huffy when you don't check in ($600 fine - pay it or lose your boat). That's free passage - if you don't go ashore and you don't stay someplace for a significant period of time, you don't have to check in (though in some places, 24 hours is all you're allowed to stay without checking in).

All things considered, I always thought that the Thai officials were very generous to allow boats to take so long to make the one-day trip from Malaysia to Phuket without charging a penalty or shortening their allowed stay. Yachts were seen as contributing to the local economy, including the bribe/"gift" the officials collected. I think you'll find the same in most places that impose these fees - the Galapagos has been doing it for years.

We need to know what are the "hot spots" of local pillaging and looting of cruising yachts, whether it is by brigands, or by the local government. Changing these practices is another matter entirely.
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