The skipper of a yacht of French national was penalised by Lenakel Customs for calling into the undeclared port of Port Resolution on the island of Tanna unannounced. The vessel was on its way from Tarawa, Kiribati to Bundaberg, Australia on 5th August 2014.
Port Resolution, Tanna
Further to arriving unannounced at an undeclared port, the skipper disembarked the vessel without clearance and took a public transport to Lenakel to see Customs. Upon arrival at the Customs office in Lenakel, Customs had no choice but to penalise the skipper for the three offences committed.
This is not the first time that a yacht has been penalised this season for the above offences. Yachts are therefore being reminded again that the maximum penalty for failing to inform Customs of their arrival in Vanuatu or for arriving at an undeclared port, and disembarking prior to clearance are separate offences and are each liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding VT5,000,000, or both.
Reflections - sailing Vanuatu, a cruising sailor's delight
Vanuatu has been used a lot in recent years as a transit point for smuggling contrabands into Australia, mainly. Vanuatu Customs cannot tolerate these risks anymore and has therefore stepped up on its border control efforts in 2014. It is worth noting that on the other hand, legitimate visitors can experience a higher level of facilitation by Vanuatu Customs to visit the islands of Vanuatu. We hope this would bring about some economic benefits to our islands while at the same time give our visitors the opportunity to enjoy the islands.
For more information, click on Travelers and Yacht clearance.