Sailing and travel tales

Onwards to Cuba … but snagged

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We have finally loosed Calusa from the grip of USA. It took some doing
even the USA customs did not want to clear us out because they discovered that
a little piece of paper was missing from the original marine sales, transfer of
ownership and registering of flag documentation had not been filed at the time
the documents were done late 2009. We had paid a small company specialising in
this type of documentation back in 2009 to do all our documents. I know the
lady got her nose out of joint when I said I would do the registering of Calusa
under the New Zealand flag myself ( thereby saving us close to $US 400 ) and
obviously she did not follow through everything else to the end and she nastily
did not tell us that there would be another document to file.

It was a form for USA statistics concerning export sales – the boat being categorised as an
export from USA. A simple enough form to fill in on line,

if you were and American and had an American tax number, but, as we
were to find out, impossible to do if you were a foreigner so we have had to
pay someone else another $150 odd to do that now.

We had had to travel 40 miles to Key West to “clear” out and had rented
a car to do that so were very angry when the customs officer came up with this
little surprise. I was going to have to work out how to do it, where to go ,
etc (they don,t help you in any way at US customs to do this) it clearly was
going to take a day or two to do and we had only a couple of days left before
our personal three month USA visas expired and Calusa’s cruising license ,

a license which  allowed the boat to be in Florida without paying sales tax, expired.

However the customs man did a very reasonable thing. He signed us out
and gave me the clearing document but asked that I ring him and verbally give
him the number that completing the missing form online would generate. At the
time he and I did not know that I would not be able to do that myself because
we did not have an American tax number.

In the end we left USA without
ringing the customs officer on the day our visas expired and that we were dated
as clearing but I emailed the company doing the document and asked them to ring
him and give him the number when it came through and to email me a copy. I only
hope that this has happened.

We slipped out of the marina at Marathon late in the afternoon, fuelled
up, filled the water tanks and anchored off overnight then left early in the
morning on the last day we could legally be in America.

It all felt a little bit deliciously naughty because really we had had
enough of Americans, their delays and their money fleecing ways.

Written by teoranga

September 28, 2011 at 8:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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