Until recently, the fee for a boat to clear Bahamas Customs and Immigration was $150.00 for boats up to 35 feet and $300.00 for boats 35 feet and over. This covered a vessel with three persons or less, with departure taxes added for additional crew/passengers.
In mid-May, Customs changed the fee schedule: $150.00 for boats 30 feet and under and $300.00 for boats 31 feet and over, with no indication what they would charge for a boat that is 30.5 feet, for example. The Bahamas.com website was changed to reflect the new fee schedule.
However, Bahamas Tourism officials Carlton Sands and Earl Miller each stated that the policy change was premature and the government has it under reconsideration. "They were advised that it's not a good idea, especially now," said Miller. "The fees are back to where they were."
Sands is aware that some visitors who entered the Bahamas over the last 2 weeks in boats between 30-35 feet may have been charged $300 instead of the $150. "Bring your papers to a Customs office and you will be reimbursed the difference," Sands said. Sands said that his office should have the website information changed back to reflect the correct fees shortly. Miller said he will send me an official confirmation hopefully early next week.
As with most everything in the Bahamas, expect the unexpected. That's one of the thrills of cruising these beautiful waters.