This year, the Nautical Flea Market will take place at the Marina Taina, Punaauia, the June 29th.
Starting at 8:00 AM, come and enjoy!
The Decree 401 CM is published on the Official Journal of the French Polynesia (JOPF): here is the link to Lexpol, the website of the JOPF, where you can find the new law in this pdf document to download.
The project of decree which modifies the length of stay in French Polynesia was voted in Council of Ministers on Monday, March 25th, 2013 and makes applicable the order 401 CM on March 27th, 2013.
For the sailors arrived in Polynesia before March 27th, 2013, it is asked each to contact the service of customs to inquire about the passing conditions concerning him, with:
- Mr Bernard TEINA, email@example.com
- Service des douanes, centre de contrôle de la navigation de plaisance, BP 9006 Motu Uta, 98713 Papeete; fax: (+689) 50 55 95
Several sailors of passage in French Polynesia announced us awkward situations in which they were recently put by the services of customs, in touch with the length of stay: sometimes very heavy fines, some were even the object of threat of seizure of their boat.
Indeed, since the middle 2012, customs decided to enforce the decree appeared on December 30th, 1998 which had never been applied, and whose question it is not either in the customs declaration form handed to ship owners in their entry to French Polynesia by the authorities.
This form specified well the possibility of staying 24 months, but without specifying the condition of maximal residence of 185 days per civil year.
Many sailors being sudden in the illegality according to these new criteria, the AVP asked to Minister of Finance, as well as to director of customs, for an audience.
Three working meetings were necessary to reach the writing of a project of decree which modifies the length of stay in French Polynesia: from 185 days maximum a civil year, the new duration could be widened to 18 months, renewable after an exit of the Territory of 6 months minimum.
The AVP, French Polynesia Cruising Association, welcome all the owners of sailboats and motorboats, resident in French Polynesia for at least one year.
It also welcome all the boats of passage which would like to support us in our actions of welcoming and protection.
To operate our actions and see that they are successful, to operate also our activities and the others to come and to see that they continue, we need most large number of willingnesses, ideas of all and the creativity of each.
Owners of resident sailboats or boats of passage in Polynesia, join us and bring us your competition!
To know more about the Association, see:
You can download the form of membership here:
The inscription is valid for a duration of one year.
The contribution is fixed to 3 500 FCP by sailboat (30 euros), 4 700 FCP including the Association's flag (FCP= French Pacific Francs)
Send the form of membership to the secretary:
Tahiti - French Polynesia
(Check drawn up in the order of Association AVP)
You can send us your photos, cruising stories, good addresses, recipes, etc., on our e-mail address avp.tahiti(at)gmail.com
Since the middle of year 2012, the Customs in French Polynesia seem to have received the explicit orders to enforce the law 1867 CMS of December 30th, 1998 modified in 2009.
- For the owner of the boat: a maximum duration of the stay of 185 days per civil year (and they do not specify if it may be renewable once as it was before 2009).
- For the owner: presence in French Polynesia for maximum 12 months by period of 24 months.
- For the boat only (whatever nationality): possibility of staying in French Polynesia maximum 24 months.
This strengthening of controls is now made in spite of the tourist interest of the Country to keep his nautical sailors. They frighten even, with good reason, those who entered legally French Polynesia and were informed that they could stay 24 months on the territory. The Customs seems not to consider to have made an error and apply texts literally.
Thus, although we work at trying to clarify and to help those who are at present in door for forgery, be careful and ask, upon your arrival, explicitly the customs if you can count at least on a renewal of six months on the verge of 185 indicated days.
The Nautical flea market will take place at the Marina Taina, Punaauia, saturday 30th of June.
Bring your stuff!
Dear Cruising Friend,
The members of AVP wish you a warm welcome to Tahiti and hope that you will fall in love with Polynesia as much as they have. The country and its inhabitants deserve it as you no doubt already have discovered in the Marquesas and the Tuamotus.
AVP is a legally recognized non-profit organization, founded in 1981 by sailors who have lived here for years. Our goal is to be of help to local sailors and to welcome transiting cruisers. We are able to provide you with our extensive navigational experience and local knowledge, as well as available resources.
Completely on a voluntary basis, our activities are a reflection of the solidarity of seafarers. We hope to forge bonds of friendship between cruisers who, although originating from varied distant shores, experience and understand the same joys and hardships.
You need to check in with the Port Captain, Police/Immigration and Customs upon your arrival in Papeete. The offices are conveniently located together in one small building next to the Tourism Office, at the Cruise Ship Dock downtown. While at the Port Captain’s office, make sure to pick up a copy of the useful yachting guide edited by the Port Authority. Also, at the Tourism office, you will be warmly welcomed by the kind and knowledgeable people there. Our Blog is updated with the last regulations about your legal stay in French Polynesia.
Unfortunately, our boats can attract petty thieves, and this is true here as elsewhere. Tied at the quay downtown or at anchor nearby, keep an eye on your dinghy and lock your boat when going ashore. Every year during this season of migrating yachts, boats are broken into and dinghies disappear. Be particularly careful on Fridays and especially Saturday nights. In case of theft, promptly make a report to the police; they are efficient and often apprehend the thieves and recover some of the stolen items.
Here in Tahiti and nearby islands, we know of most good places (and not-so-good places) to meet your needs -- safe anchorages, as well as boatyards, ship chandleries, transports, supermarkets, restaurants, travel agencies, etc. We would be happy to pass on a few tips so do not hesitate to contact us. We also had to go through the sometime painful and complicated process of ‘Papeetisation’ of our boats so before you decide to go ahead with it, let us know how we can help.
Finally, in order to correct a general misunderstanding by the local population of boaters’ impact on the environment, the AVP is currently conducting a media information campaign. Therefore, we ask you to be particularly responsible when disposing of your garbage, old batteries and used engine oil, just as you would in your own country. The marina Taina offers good disposal facilities for all these. The same is true for loud sound (shouting, singing) after dark on board. It is bad for our reputation and for your neighbours (some of them start working early in the morning).
First, a few words of historical interest on anchoring here. In 1997, the territorial government decided to disallow anchoring in the bay of Maeva Beach. The AVP took the issue to court and won the authorization to anchor here. The local presidency appealed the decision and we had to hire a lawyer to represent us in the higher court in Paris. We lost on a technicality. We have appealed the judgment and the matter is still unresolved. We are now in a period of ‘status quo’ (so not legally allowed) in this anchorage. This anchorage only exists due to our will and means and the resolution of this issue is still in a precarious situation. The planned installation of moorings in the near future will certainly start the old arguments again...
While anchoring opposite the hotel Sofitel Maeva Beach is still possible, we strongly advise against landing on the beach meant for the hotel customers. Unless off course you are a customer yourself!
Walking through the hotel is not appreciated and do not help toward an improvement of our relationships with the directions.
The swimming pool is reserved for the hotel clients and is not opened to diners. If you wish to use it you will need to buy a pass from the hotel.
The mooring area (land side) close to the Sofitel is private. The Taina Marina manages the mooring area on the reef side. North of the marina is a year long stay and south of it is the temporary stay. You will see that both are usually full ! You can anchor anywhere apart these two mooring areas. Be aware that sometimes the wind from the south blows up to 60 knots for several hours or days. Also a lot of variable winds, boats turn a lot. So don’t anchor too close to the boats moored. Try to avoid the marked channel for anchoring, but it may be difficult when there are a lot of boats anchored already ! For the reasons above, be aware that you should avoid to leave your boat unattended for more than 3-4 days.
There are 2 dinghy landing possibilities at the Marina Taina:
- Inside the marina, at the dinghy pontoon opposite Tahiti Yacht Accessories
- or at the pontoon opposite the marina Office, at a cost of 5000 Fcp per month. Mandatory!
Useful Practical Information
Potable water is available at the Marina, as well as garbage disposal (look for the green dumpsters). Check with the marina on where to take your old batteries and used engine oil.
The Carrefour supermarket is within walking distance in a mall offering among others a Chemist, Medical centre, Post office, Bank, Telephones and more. The mall is opened Monday to Saturday and the supermarket is also opened on Sunday morning.
The ‘trucks’ run day and night (pretty late, check the schedules at the tourism office), 7 days a week towards downtown via the airport. They run every 5 minutes by day but only once an hour by night.
Opposite the airport there is an industrial laundromat ‘Mea Ma’ which provides Wash & Dry for 250 Fcp/kilo. Another laundromat is based towards Punaauia and is rather cheap and cheerful. At the ‘Pont de L’Est’ in Papeete, a new laundromat has also recently opened. Finally there is also the laundromat of the marina Taina.
You can buy Butane gas bottles (13Kg) next to the marina Taina and can have foreign bottles filled in Papeete (specify butane or propane as they have both) in the zone Motu Uta, on the right hand side after the bridge. Gaz de Tahiti is open from 7:30 AM till 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. To pick up your tank the same day, make sure to drop it off before 11:00 AM. You can take your propane tanks on the trucks, but avoid rush hours. Sometime the petrol station next to the marina Taina offers to carry bottles to the filling station but you might need a good dose of patience.
PYS also offers to carry and fill bottles at a cost.
The anchorage being sometime very busy, when using your radio for e-mail, i.e. Winlink and Sailmail, please practice courtesy and radio etiquette, making sure the frequency is clear, and that no one else in the anchorage is already connected on the same band. An informal French SSB net meets daily on 13.940 USB from 5:00 till 6:00 PM local time (0300-0400 UTC). It covers much of the Pacific and Caribbean. If at all possible, please do not transmit during the above-mentioned times, as it creates a lot of interference.
When using your radio for e-mail, i.e. Winlink and Sailmail, please practice courtesy and radio etiquette, making sure the frequency is clear, and that no one else in the anchorage is already connected on the same band. Keep in mind that Pactor III transmits on a broader frequency range than Pactor I or II.
The most practical place to buy fuel is at Marina Taina. They will sell fuel at duty-free for transiting boats if you have the necessary papers from the immigration office.
Various Wifi nets are available from the office in marina Taina (Ioraspot wifi network has some free pages with a lot of nautical informations and addresses but you will need to buy some ‘minutes’ first). The Tourist office also has computers available.
The marine store with the largest inventory on hand is Nautisport in Fare Ute. Others with smaller inventory include Marine Corail, Emile Vongue and Ship Chandler. Outboard sales and service is available for Yamaha, Evinrude/Johnson, Honda, Suzuki, Mercury and Mariner.
API Yachting -- Sails (new and repairs) and rigging, canvas, upholstery, fiberglass and carpentry, stainless steel welding and diesel engine repairs. Located on the eastside of town. Also Phaeton Voiles (Michel) in Taravao.
Michel on sailing yacht “Teva” -- Marine Refrigeration and shipchandler . Located in the Maeva Beach anchorage and managing the store Tahiti Yacht Accessoire in the marina.
Sopom & Sopomeca -- Diesel and generator parts and repairs, fuel and oil filters. Located just past Nautisport before the bridge to Motu Uta.
Poly Industrie -- Machine shop, located next to Sopom.
Dieselec -- Diesel parts and repairs, located in town near Yamaha.
Most are in Fare Ute, the largest being Tahiti Quincaillerie and Ace Hardware (Sin Tung Hin). By the cathedral downtown is Tavita, a small store but the only one which carries SAE engine nuts and bolts, and they also have a large number of stainless steel fasteners.
The main post office is downtown, opposite the Yacht Quay. A branch post office is conveniently located in the Carrefour shopping center. The post office does offer fax service, however at exorbitant prices. Marina Taina can send faxes for about 300 CFP per page. Available courier services for mail and parts are FedEx, DHL and Airborne Express. Airborne Express is usually half the price of the others.
Docking Space and Other Nearby Anchorages
If you wish to come to a dock the nearest one on entry is on the main quay in Papeete, at the marina Taina (VHF 9) or in Taravao but very rarely at Arue Yacht Club on the north coast.
The most popular anchorages are on the west coast are the Maeva anchorage, the bay of Vaitupa and the bay of Phaeton in Taravao. There are no more anchorage available near the Yacht Club D’Arue on the East coast.
How to Contact AVP Sailors
For further information and advice, the following AVP members will be happy to help you:
- Michel on ‘Teva’ (president of the AVP. Tel: 74 10 02/Tahiti Yacht Accessories / firstname.lastname@example.org / VHF 69
- Francois on ‘Croque’ (secretary of the AVP, email@example.com. Tel:30 19 27) and Michel on “Maestro”.
- Yves on ‘Reverence’
- Jane & Marc on ‘Ratafia’
Don’t hesitate to contact us on VHF 16 or 69 that we – sometimes – monitor.
Before leaving for Moorea and the Leeward Islands, ask for the names and locations of AVP members in those areas.
To Become a Member of AVP
Our association draws its strength from the number of its members, who all work for AVP on a voluntary basis. Our financial resources are provided exclusively by its membership dues (3500 CFP annually) and donations. That is why we encourage you to join us. If you are not staying long in French Polynesia, and do not wish to become an active member, you might consider making a charitable donation to help future sailors coming this way. Contact one of the AVP members mentioned above.
Iaorana and a Pleasant Stay Among Us!