October 15, 2013
Regulations Update - Winter 2013 in the Americas & Caribbean
Visa entry requirements for St. Maarten will remain the same as last season. Just a reminder that crew members and guests who require a visa for entry into St. Maarten are exempt when they are in possession of one of the following documents (accompanied with an Agent Guarantee Letter from BWA in St. Maarten): 
1. A valid, multiple entry visa for the United States of America, Canada and the Schengen Area
2. A valid residence  permit  (green  card) for the United States of America, Canada, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Switzerland
3. A valid Seaman’s Discharge Book  

There is a new immigration substation located at the ferry terminal next to the airport to facilitate guest and vessel clearances. This is in addition to the office at the Simpson Bay Police station which will continue to provide immigration and clearances services from 8:00am to 6:00pm.  The office of SLAC (The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation) is still located at the Simpson Bay Police Station.  

For departure of some people who may need it, BWA St. Maarten is able to provide OK TO BOARD letters to the airlines, and guarantee letters to the guests, before departure from country of origin.  

And finally we have a new provisioning office at Simpson Bay Marina, with a big selection of fresh provisions from Europe and the USA. Orders can be consolidated in our cool room and we can do deliveries and clearances with our tenders from Philipsburg to Grand Case if you’re at anchor.  

If your plans take you to Antigua this winter, BWA is authorized to carry out both inbound and outbound clearances without the Captain being present. We can also clear yachts from anywhere on the island which can be helpful when you have quick turnarounds on a charter.  

Florida & Bahamas
For those of you who remember the lengthy waits, various trips back and forth, appointments, inspections for a lot of bureaucratic paperwork we can now assist in expediting this for you, providing major time and cost saving efficiencies.

BWA in Ft. Lauderdale offers a new VIP service to process B1/B2 Visa Applications and renewals.  Also, if you need a Bahamas Charter License this season, the FTL office can manage this entire process for you, arranging the inspection even in Ft. Lauderdale. 

VAT payment processing is also available should you need it.  Cash to Master is available in Nassau through our Florida office, and we can store and ship to you any extra items you may want to pull off the boat in Fort Lauderdale during cruising.  

Lastly in case you’re not aware, I-94’s are no longer needed for Homeland Security when entering the U.S.  Passports are stamped and the last day of stay is indicated.   

New England
If you are considering hauling out in the North East just a quick mention that the Newport Shipyard has a new 500 Ton travel lift that came in to use this season and is the biggest one in New England.  We just opened an office in the Newport Shipyard last spring and if we can assist you there either in the winter, or next spring, don’t hesitate to give us a call.