Permits ease Marshall Islands voyaging hassle

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Owners of U.S.-registered yachts wishing to visit the Marshall Islands in the near future should be aware of a recent change in cruising permits to the Pacific archipelago. The Marshall Islands, located midway across the Pacific between Indonesia and Hawaii, are a string of tropical islands that, until 1986, when the country gained independence, were a U.S. territory.

American sailors are now entitled to a one-year cruising permit, which entitles the owner's vessel to visit any number of the Marshall Islands and reefs. The permit also exempts the vessel from formal customs entry procedures; cruising fees are still required and are to be paid upon the first port of entry. This is a reciprocal agreement, allowing Marshall Islands-registered vessels to obtain similar permits for cruising the waters of the United States.

For more information on these permits, contact the Marshall Islands Visitor's Authority: PO Box 5, Majuro, MH 96960; email:; phone: 692-625-6482; fax: 692-625-6771. For a complete story on visiting the Marshall Islands, see Scott Bannerot's coverage in Issue 120, March/April 2002.

By Ocean Navigator