Vol 1: Spellbound‎ > ‎Read‎ > ‎Ch 10: Paradise‎ > ‎

About the Gendarmerie?

The gendarmerie (or gendarmery) is a uniformed national police force that is part of the military. Members are called gendarmes.  The word gendarme comes from the Old French gens d'armes, meaning men-at-arms.  The French require that all boats entering French Polynesia must clear immigration. This means registering with the first Gendarmerie you come across.  A gendarme will issue the boat permission to stay in French Polynesia for up to 180 days.  Copies of the paperwork are sent to Tahiti and given to the owners of the boat.  As a boat travels around the islands, you are supposed to report in whenever there is a gendarmerie.  Firearms and ammunition must be declared.  If you are staying less than three days they can be kept on board.  Otherwise, the authorities on each island must hold them until your departure.  Failure to comply can result in seizure of your vessel.