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Old 11-09-2006, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default CHAGOS - bad news for cruisers.

Submitted by Richard Donaldson-Alves:

I have just received this sad news :-

'Farewell Chagos' because I don't think too many boats will be coming there again! The Brits just gave the news. You can look the entire mess on the web but here's the gist.

Effective 1st Jan 07 the rent will be Pounds Sterling 500 per month, (approx $ 900!), payable in advance! 'On request for a permit, sent by e mail, fax or post a Visit Permit Request form will be sent. Once the completed form and mooring fee, (by bank transfer), have been received by BIOT a permit will be issued.

Please note under BIOT law, any person who enters the Territory, including it's 3 mile wide territorial waters without a permit is liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine of up to Pounds 3,000.

Please promulgate.

Richard
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:08 AM   #2
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Which site carries the full details ?

Is this a temporary measure to keep visitors away while the inhabitants are returned to the Islands - I have heard that they are now being allowed back after being digracefully kicked out over 20 years ago

I suggest we cause a stink about this before everyone gets the idea that we can be robbed legally and starts charging silly entry fees

Steelfan
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:02 PM   #3
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Richard has kindly submitted the very latest (direct from BIOT):

* Application form to visit Chagos

* Rules for visiting Chagos.

I have combined the two forms in one .pdf file and this can be downloaded from here. (Free Adobe Reader is required)

Click here to DOWNLOAD CHAGOS FORMS

.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:08 PM   #4
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Copy of correspondence sent from BIOT when applying for a permit:

You and your accompanying passengers have applied for a permit to visit the Chagos Islands, excluding Diego Garcia, of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

You are subject to BIOT law when inside its territorial waters. If you break any of these laws, you will become subject, as in any country, to a range of censures and punishments, including fines, imprisonment, deportation, or the impounding of your vessel.

You should be aware that any person who enters BIOT without a permit is liable to imprisonment for 3 years and/or a fine of £3000.

You must moor your vessel at the approved sites only, as indicated on the attached map, to help conserve BIOTís fragile coral environment. If your vessel is not moored at one of the approved sites, you will be issued with an on-the-spot fine of £500. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £3000.

"Marina" services are not provided. There is no mail service. Garbage will be collected from designated disposal areas ashore.

BIOT Customs and Immigration officials visit the approved mooring sites to check permits and passports. The passports of all passengers/crew will be checked against the details provided on the Visit Permit Request form. You will be asked to explain any discrepancies.

NATURE RESERVES

All of the Chagos Islands are nature reserves. The following islands are strict nature reserves. It is an offence to approach within 200 meters, land on or anchor at:

Great Chagos Bank: The Three Brothers and Resurgent Island; Danger Island; Cow Island; Nelson Island.

Peros Banhos Atoll: All the islands to the east of a line drawn between the easternmost point of land on Moresby Island and the easternmost point of land on Fouquet Island.

Any person who commits such an offence, is liable, to an on-the-spot fine of £500. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and/or to a fine not exceeding £5000, and to detention and forfeiture of any boat and equipment used when committing the offence.

DIEGO GARCIA

Unauthorised vessels or persons are not permitted to access this island and no unauthorised vessel is permitted to approach within 12 nautical miles. Vessels in transit, on ďinnocent passageĒ as defined under Maritime Law, should maintain their course away from Diego Garcia.

ENVIRONMENT

Please assist the conservation of BIOT environment by adhering to the following and by ensuring that others visiting the Territory also respect it. Failure to observe BIOTís regulations may result in the application of the penalties listed below.

You are not permitted to remain ashore overnight (between sunset and sunrise), nor set up an encampment nor erect any structure of installation. Any such infringement will be dismantled and disposed of without compensation. Other property left ashore unattended is similarly liable. Any person who commits such an offence is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years and/or to a fine not exceeding £3000.

You should respect the old plantation buildings or other structures on the islands. Please do not damage them e.g. with graffiti. Any person who commits such offences is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

All fauna and flora are protected by law: The following are, for example, prohibited:

The collection of live shells, molluscs or coral (dead or alive);

The killing of crabs (or the possession of crabs, alive or dead);

The killing of animals (or the possession of animals, alive or dead);

Intentionally destroying, damaging or taking a wild birdís nest, wild birdís egg or turtleís egg;

Intentionally disturbing dependent young of a wild bird;

Taking or being in possession of any specified flora

Taking any alive or dead wild animal out of the Territory

Any person found guilty, upon conviction, of the above offences is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £500.

All unlicensed fishing (except non-commercial fishing by rod or line for your consumption) is also prohibited. In order to assist the BIOT Fisheries Officers in monitoring fish stocks, you must record numbers of fish taken, the species and size.

Any person who commits such an offence is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding £100,000. If convicted of such an offence, the local Magistratesí Court may order the forfeiture of equipment and boat.

The use of scuba diving equipment or underwater-swimming equipment is prohibited. Any person who commits such an offence is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £5000. If convicted of such an offence, the Magistratesí Court may order that any vessel, together with any equipment or goods on board in connection with the offence shall be detained until the fine has been paid.

Vegetation must not be cut; it protects the shore from erosion and provides habitat for the islandsí natural inhabitants. Any person who commits such an offence is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £3000.

Fauna and flora from outside the Chagos Archipelago must not be introduced into the Territory. Alien species of vegetation and animals can have a devastating effect on the natural ecology of the Archipelago. In particular, pets are not to be landed. Any person who commits such an offence is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £500. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to a term not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £3000.

All combustible garbage is to be burned or removed. All other material is to be placed in the bins provided or removed. Any person found leaving litter/garbage other than in the bins provided is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £200. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to a term not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding £3000.

DRUGS

It is illegal to import, export, supply/offer, produce or use a controlled drug in the Territory. It is also illegal to cultivate any plant of the genus Cannabis. Any person found in possession of a Class A or B drug is liable, on conviction, to a term not exceeding 14 years and/or an unlimited fine. Any person found in possession of a Class C drug (including Cannabis) is liable to an on-the-spot fine of £500. Failure to pay the fine could result, on conviction, to a term not exceeding12 months and/or a fine not exceeding £1000.

EMERGENCIES

If you have an emergency that you consider life threatening, you should declare it as a maritime emergency in accordance with International Maritime Regulations. In such a situation, BIOT authorities in Diego Garcia can be contacted on 2.182MHz HF SSB or VHF if within range. All reasonable assistance will be considered.

The BIOT ADMINISTRATION
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:50 PM   #5
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All the latest and UPDATED information on BIOT is now available online at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:50 PM   #6
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The anchorage fee for yachts is set to BP100.00 per month - payable in advance.



See CHAGOS on the Cruising Wiki - HERE.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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We were fortunate to visit Chagos in 1989, what a fantastic spot! Such an isolated beautiful location where it was free to visit, no permits required, no customs and immigration, it was just a cruisers heaven!

Now it's all bound up in red tape and beaurocracy and totally spoiled as that "special place".
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