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Old 04-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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Reports are filtering in about cruisers receiving hefty fines for not making first landfall at an official Port of Entry at some Pacific island groups/countries.

Please take note: Do not stop at "outlying" islands before officially checking in. Do the "right" thing and avoid problems.

Safe and happy cruising!
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:01 PM   #2
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My brother just sent this to me, he apparently received the information from somebody with good knowledge in Fiji.

There has been secretly formed a new police/military unit composed of 25 troops to enforce the regulations in regards to vessels within Fiji. They are in the process of installing marine band VHF radios in the various police stations to monitor vessel traffic (in addition to the HF monitoring stations in Suva) in an attempt to catch violators (ie, a person who drops the anchor to get a few winks before continuing onto a port of entry before they check in). They are also going to be specifically trying to target yachts which stop (illegally) in the Lau Group before checking in. The folks in Lau love it (the cruisers), the military does not (long political power story in Fiji).

Getting caught anchoring before checking in at an official port of entry will not be pleasant.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Fiji isn't the only place that gets upset with cruisers entering and not checking in immediately, but this is the first time I've heard of such aggressive policing. When we arrived in New Caledonia two boats were charged hefty fines for anchoring and going ashore before their arrival and check in at Noumea. I have no issue with a country enforcing its laws, though it sounds as if Fiji's governing officials might have another agenda. Possibly they are afraid of what might be smuggled into the country by such boats. If it's fear that is driving Fiji's behavior, cruisers have a lot to fear by stepping even an inch outside the rules.

Checking into a country immediately upon arrival is sometimes time-consuming, occasionally uncomfortable, but always the right thing to do.

Be forewarned.

Fijians are still lovely people and I think it is a great place to visit.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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See the warning on the Cruising Wiki's page on Fiji.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:21 AM   #5
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I just found this article, freedom of the press is going downhill FAST. Yup, the government is ruling by force and intimidation. Be careful.

http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/articl...parentid=91638
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