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Discussion Starter #1
If you sail the world, do you accually need any passports, visas and so on? Please educate me.

Sorry if posted in wrong place.
 

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Yes, you'll need a passport, and you'll need visas for most countries, and some don't grant them on entry. You will need a registration, preferably national, for your boat. You may need proof of insurance in some places.

Check Noonsite.com for the specifics for various countries.
 

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In my limited experience, you always need a passport and in some places a visa in advance. But most places issue visas on arrival.

In New Zealand and Australia, you have to give advanced warning of your impending arrival and this is normally achieved from your previous destination. Both countries request at least 24 hours notification and get really disgruntled if you don't.

No official anywhere that I have been has ever asked me for my boat's papers or proof of ownership - I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's never happened to me. Anywhere.

You'll only need to display evidence of insurance if you're staying in most marinas and there are some that haven't asked us. If you're anchoring off, no worries.

The one thing that you must DEFINITELY have whenever you are reporting to the local authority on initial check-in is the departure documents from your LAST point of departure, duly stamped and signed. I can't recall any place that didn't insist on these and I have seen one very uncomfortable couple who were unable to produce them (never discovered why they never had them).

Another thing that is often overlooked is a courtesy flag. There are a lot of places, some them seemingly most unlikely, that get seriously pi$$ed if you haven't got one. Seychelles and Samoa are two that are like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In my limited experience, you always need a passport and in some places a visa in advance. But most places issue visas on arrival.

In New Zealand and Australia, you have to give advanced warning of your impending arrival and this is normally achieved from your previous destination. Both countries request at least 24 hours notification and get really disgruntled if you don't.

No official anywhere that I have been has ever asked me for my boat's papers or proof of ownership - I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it's never happened to me. Anywhere.

You'll only need to display evidence of insurance if you're staying in most marinas and there are some that haven't asked us. If you're anchoring off, no worries.

The one thing that you must DEFINITELY have whenever you are reporting to the local authority on initial check-in is the departure documents from your LAST point of departure, duly stamped and signed. I can't recall any place that didn't insist on these and I have seen one very uncomfortable couple who were unable to produce them (never discovered why they never had them).

Another thing that is often overlooked is a courtesy flag. There are a lot of places, some them seemingly most unlikely, that get seriously pi$$ed if you haven't got one. Seychelles and Samoa are two that are like that.
Ok, thank you for the post. How would I get the departure documents? Should I ask in the marina or should I contact the local gov?
 

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The departure documents, or Zarpe, are usually issued by the local government customs office when you check out of a given country.
 

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You'll obviously be leaving your own country first so the start of the process is easy.

Normally the local Customs, in third world countries or the islands the police station, gendarmerie or the harbourmaster. Normally when you arrive at a place someone will come and ask for your papers, he's the same person who will give you departure papers when you check out.

If nobody comes to ask for your papers and there is no obvious office around, just ask the locals.

Note that if you don't get the right papers at one destination, your last set from the previous stop will need to have some logic to follow on. In other words, If you leave the States and go to the Marquesas, that'll be a three week voyage.

If you don't get the correct docs there, stay for four weeks and take another week to sail to your next destination, you will need to have reasonable explanation for why it took you eight weeks to get from the States to your second destination. Does that make sense?
 

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If you sail the world, do you accually need any passports, visas and so on? Please educate me.
You may need more than this.
As others said, countries and ports vary in how diligent they are actually checking, but here are some common extras:
1. In some Med countries, you are not allowed to enter w/o a VHF certificate. Don't ask me why - though you can see the safety aspect.
2. You are supposed to carry a Crew List, matched against passports.
3. Theoretically - though this is probably the least commonly checked - a port may require current insurance papers.
4. The boat papers must be complete if entering e.g. EU, with specification of country of origin. If US-registered, duty and VAT is payable if kept in EU waters beyond 6 mnths, to the papers are stamped on date of first entry.
5. Worth looking out for: implementation is only tentative so far, but e.g. EU countries are increasingly steering towards a "skipper certificate", i.e. you need papers to show that you are entitled to skipper a boat the size of yours. Normally, this means that if you are allowed in your home country, they must accept you.

As you may have guessed, there are parts of the world - too many to list - where the request for "papers" is a great pretext for extracting bribes, so it really pays to have as much as possible to beat them over the head with.
 

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Ps. on Visas: As Omatako mentions, getting your visa in advance is a safe and often more convenient option. Remember that many countries only have certain named harbors as official "Port of Entry", which is where passports and such are processed. If you make landfall elsewhere and lack the visa, you may be sent to run the gauntlet - the locals don't issue visas, and you're not allowed to travel in the country to get one. Does that sound like premium bribe time to you?
 

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I'd point out that some countries require a bond for any crew you bring with you. This is to ensure the crew can leave the country via plane if they decide not to leave when you depart.
 

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If you sail the world, do you accually need any passports, visas and so on?
Privatearms, in retrospect, it was irresponsible to even begin a reply to your question. The conditions vary so much that only specific information from each country has any real relevance. By far the best place to find updated information by country is at Noonsite.com. To show you the range (and provide some amusement) here are some arbitrary direct quotes from Noonsite, in no particular order:

Brazil:
In some ports the authorities insist on everyone having a visa, even nationalities that are normally exempt.

Japan
A de-ratting certificate must be shown.
Visitors must bring a copy of their doctor's prescription as well as a letter stating the purpose of the drug.

Greece
Entry may be refused if there are Turkish Cyprus stamps in the passport.

South Africa
A yellow fever vaccination certificate may be requested if arriving from some African countries.

Singapore
Firearms, including spear guns, need an import permit from the Marine Police. The permit must be obtained in advance - two weeks is the minimum period necessary for obtaining a permit. It is now a requirement that visiting yachts must obtain cruising permits in order to cruise within Port of Singapore waters, including moving between marinas. In order to qualify for the permit, the visiting yacht must be fitted with an IMO AIS transponder or a Harbour Craft Transponder System (HARTS) transponder. Yachts not fitted with such a device may rent one.

Italy
The proof of insurance requirements are exacting; proof of third party insurance issued by an insurance company having reciprocal arrangements with a recognised Italian insurance company with an Italian translation, or insurance bought in Italy through an Italian broker. It is illegal for yachts to cruise in Italian waters without valid third-party insurance. Yachts which do not have insurance may not be allowed to leave the harbour until they obtain it.

Vanuatu
Automatic and semi automatic weapons are not to be brought into the country at all as these are strictly prohibited and severe penalties are in place for any breach of these prohibitions.
You may not have onboard obscene publications, or videos, narcotics (other than genuine medical emergency drugs).

Micronesia
A cruising permit must be obtained in advance of arrival. One should apply in writing to the Chief of Immigration. The application should contain the following information: boat name, port and flag of registration, LOA, net and gross tonnage, crew list, detailed itinerary, intended port of entry. It takes several months to receive an answer.

Indonesia
Portuguese nationals will be refused entry. Israelis require special permission. One should carry a large quantity of photocopies of documents, especially the cruising permit and yacht registration document, enough to be given to officials at all ports of call. Otherwise, all yachts must obtain a cruising permit and security clearance in advance. The formalities for this must be done through an approved agent. Agents should be chosen with care as yachts have sometimes not been dealt with fairly.

Croatia
Documents needed are the registration certificate, certificate of competence, third party insurance certificate, crew lists, radio licence, and a list of all dutiable items such as alcohol, tobacco and any movable objects not part of the yacht's equipment, such as cameras, portable radios or the outboard engine. A cruising permit will be issued by the Harbourmaster, which must be shown at subsequent stops.

French Polynesia
Each person from a non-EU country on board the yacht must deposit in a French Polynesian bank a sum of money equivalent to a one-way air ticket back to their home country.

New Zealand
All crew are required to show evidence of funds of $400 NZ per month if living on the yacht. The owner of the yacht must show evidence of owership and of adequate 3rd party insurance. The Agricultural Department (MAF) charges time and mileage to inspect boats and this inspection must be conducted immediately on arrival. Yachts may share the cost between them.

Turkey
As of 1st January 2009, a detailed inventory must be completed and stamped by Customs. This form will be compared with a similar produced on exit from the country. Any differences must be supported by a purchase receipt or sales receipt (with customer details)
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As for Russia, I won't even begin to describe the rules.
 

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Osmund—

I'd point out that I mentioned noonsite.com all the way back in post #3... :rolleyes:
 

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French Polynesia
Each person from a non-EU country on board the yacht must deposit in a French Polynesian bank a sum of money equivalent to a one-way air ticket back to their home country.
Oh if it were so simple . . . .

We arrived in Marquesas (Frech Polynesia) and reported to the Gendarmerie. They sent us to the bank to take care of our bond. Because I was then travelling on a South African passport even though permanently resident in New Zealand, they initially insisted on a bond large enough to fly me back to SA.

When we eventually proved to them that we were permanently living in New Zealand and had been for several years, they concede to reduce the bond by about 40%.

The bank insisted on US$ so we lost on conversion from NZ$ to US$. Then the bank took (I think) an 8% commission on the US$ value.

When we left French Polynesia (checked out from Bora Bora), we requested our bond refund in NZ$. "Sorry, no NZ$." How about US$? "Sorry, no US$." We eventually received the entire bond in French Polynesian francs (almost needed a kit bag) on which we would have lost 15% on exchange when we got home. So we spent it in Bora Bora on provisions at exorbitant prices. . . . Oh, and the bank took another 8% commission to give the money back to us.

I reckon our "fully refundable" bond cost us about US$300.

Incidentally, if you're travelling on an EU passport, no bond is required in FP. You can live, stay and work there for as long as it suits you.
 

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When we left French Polynesia (checked out from Bora Bora), we requested our bond refund in NZ$. "Sorry, no NZ$." How about US$? "Sorry, no US$." We eventually received the entire bond in French Polynesian francs (almost needed a kit bag) on which we would have lost 15% on exchange when we got home. So we spent it in Bora Bora on provisions at exorbitant prices. . . . Oh, and the bank took another 8% commission to give the money back to us.
Perhaps that is why noonsite also says: (maybe you wrote that part?)
"Because of currency fluctuation, one should insist that the money is not changed into the local currency (Pacific Franc), but kept in US dollars, so that the refund is made in the same currency as the deposit. This is possible at Banque de Polynesie or Banque Socredo (check commission rates as these can vary from bank to bank)"

Se how easy it is, Jomsviking! :) :) :) :) :)
 

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I'd point out that some countries require a bond for any crew you bring with you. This is to ensure the crew can leave the country via plane if they decide not to leave when you depart.
Last time I checked, it was $1,500 U.S. for crew in French Polynesia, because they got very weary of people just jumping ship decades ago and becoming beach bums.

Don't know if it's been mentioned, but some places want to see vaccination records for the crew, and others, like Australia, have bans on many types of fresh food and WILL force you to dispose of it. Needless to say, guns are right out in most places: it's either "forget about it" or you hand them over to some distant and perhaps humid lock-up. Not worth it.

Every place has regulations and document requirements specific to the country, and as has been pointed out, some of the smallest countries are the most official-orientated.

One thing I've heard for a long time is that a "ship's stamp" comes in handy, a way for you to stamp THEIR documents in a way they recognize.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Papers

Last time I checked, it was $1,500 U.S. for crew in French Polynesia, because they got very weary of people just jumping ship decades ago and becoming beach bums.

Don't know if it's been mentioned, but some places want to see vaccination records for the crew, and others, like Australia, have bans on many types of fresh food and WILL force you to dispose of it. Needless to say, guns are right out in most places: it's either "forget about it" or you hand them over to some distant and perhaps humid lock-up. Not worth it.

Every place has regulations and document requirements specific to the country, and as has been pointed out, some of the smallest countries are the most official-orientated.

One thing I've heard for a long time is that a "ship's stamp" comes in handy, a way for you to stamp THEIR documents in a way they recognize.
Hey, thank you for all the information. First, I will be going to POLAND, then ITALY, and then Australia, and back to US. I am originally from Poland, so I know I can go there whenever I want. I am also a Perm Resident in the US, so I can stay here as well. Italy and Australia will need more exploring. Thank you once again.
 

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I'd point out that this guy doesn't have a boat yet... is in Florida, hoping someone will give him a boat that he can sail back to New Jersey... where his wife and four kids are waiting... :) So chances are pretty good all the laws will have changed by the time he casts off his docklines...since he'd have to buy a boat first. :)
 
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