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-   -   Customs in St. Thomas (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/caribbean-panama-canal/303492-customs-st-thomas.html)

rlkoen November 4th, 2005 11:04 PM

Customs in St. Thomas
 
While in St. Thomas, do you have to go thru customs everytime you leave the ship?

Paul Motter November 5th, 2005 12:49 AM

Re: Customs in St. Thomas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rlkoen
While in St. Thomas, do you have to go thru customs everytime you leave the ship?

If it is just a stop on part of a cruise leaving from Florida or San Juan you do not have to go through customs at all. There is a customs at the airport if you are flying out of St Thomas to the States, and they do ask for your passport, but as it is technically part of the U.S. your passport is not required - they tell you it just makes things "easier" if you have one, to prove you are a citizen.

mjyanne November 5th, 2005 08:01 AM

Unless St Thomas is your first stop when sailing from US Territory the ship wil lneed to be cleared by customs before anyone can depart the ship. I know on RCI they have us process thorugh one of the dining rooms with our Passports (US citizens) and foreign nationals are processed through another dining room. Once processed you are give a slip of paper that you show to depart the ship. That will be the only time you will need them.

Paul Motter November 5th, 2005 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mjyanne
Unless St Thomas is your first stop when sailing from US Territory the ship wil lneed to be cleared by customs before anyone can depart the ship. I know on RCI they have us process thorugh one of the dining rooms with our Passports (US citizens) and foreign nationals are processed through another dining room. Once processed you are give a slip of paper that you show to depart the ship. That will be the only time you will need them.

Actually, Mike is probably right. It has been awhile since I have sailed there so I apologize if I gave outdated information. I do now recall doing something like that the last time I went there. It is because it is a US territory and you may be coming in from foreign soil, so there is US customs. We just had to appear in front of an officer on the ship who looked at us and our passports. It only took a few minutes.

KimJack November 5th, 2005 01:15 PM

The clearance in St. Thomas is actually for immigration purposes only. Since the Virgin Islands are a U.S. territory, the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officers on board will only verify your citizenship status (passport inspection). You will still be required to submit your customs declaration and go through customs "baggage clearance" when you return to your port of origin in the United States.

By the way, the CBP authorities have an office in a trailer at the cruise ship pier in Havenside. At least they did when I was last in St. Thomas two years ago. They are available to answer any questions passengers might have about customs restrictions, baggage declarations, personal allowances, etc. when you return to the U.S. You might also ask them if they can give you a copy of Know Before You Go, the CBP traveler's handbook.

Jack


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