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By No owner — last modified Feb 16, 2016 02:21 PM

 Algeria - Formalities

Clearance

Note: Legally an advance visa is required of most Nationals before entering Algeria waters. This implies that any boat within 12nm of the coast may be boarded, and asked for its intentions.

Call the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 on entering Algerian waters. Mention that you have a tourist visa and be sure to fly the Algerian courtesy flag.

Most ports monitor VHF Channels 12 or 14, but apart from Arabic, only French is usually understood. Yachts must clear in and out of each harbour. Sidi Fredj, which has a marina, is the best port of entry as the officials there are used to yachts. It is necessary to clear with Customs, police and the military as well.

If you have AIS, ensure it is on. You are likely to be checked at least daily while in Algerian waters. Always call the Harbour Master before entering any port.

Customs may search the yacht and will require an inventory. Foreign currency and main dutiable items should be declared. If not the owner of the boat, the captain must have a written authorisation from the owner.

Do not expect any helpful officials who take your lines know what to do with them!

Always advise the police of any plans to leave to port and explore the town.

Fishing ports are more relaxed regarding paperwork than in official ports. However, it is still likely to take several hours to deal with it all, so friendliness and patience are required. Be prepared with many copies of all documents and have a boat stamp too.

Last updated September 2016.

Immigration

Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your visit.

All nationals require visas except nationals of Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Seychelles, Syrian, Tunisia and the Yemen.

Tourist visas are valid approximately one month. Visas should be obtained in advance from Algerian diplomatic missions and consulates abroad, preferably in your country of residence. Allow plenty of time for this to be obtained.

Visas cannot be issued on arrival.

There are Algerian consulates in Morocco and Tunisia.

Citizens of Israel, Malawi and Taiwan will be refused entry, and those with stamps from these countries in their passports will have great difficulty obtaining a visa.

Always mention that you have a tourist visa when dealing with any officials.

Last updated September 2016.

Customs

Firearms need a temporary import licence and detention permit. The firearms are held by police or Customs until departure.

Narcotics and pork products are prohibited.

It saves much time if you have ready lists of valuables on board (laptops, cameras, etc).

On your first entry, ensure the Customs that board your boat give you a form that states the currency you have on board. You will need this to change money in banks.

Last updated September 2016.

Documents

Many copies of all the usual documents including ships papers, skipper's license and, maybe, lists of radio equipment and insurance details. Having a boat stamp and ensuring all your papers are stamped with it is helpful as is offering to fill in the forms yourself.

Last updated September 2017.

Fees

An overtime fee for Customs clearance outside office hours may be charged.

Port charges are free for under 48 hours, after which there is a charge based on length.

If asked for a 'present', be polite and simply say 'no'.

Restrictions

It is no longer necessary to be escorted everywhere by armed guards, but take advice from the police as to where it is safe to visit.

Local Customs

This is a muslim country and Islamic law must be respected. Sensitivity regarding standards of dress should be observed.  Women especially should dress conservatively and men must not wear shorts or go shirtless in public. During the month of Ramadan, one should not eat, drink or smoke in public.

Pets

Animals must have vaccination certificates

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burbon
burbon says:
Nov 15, 2015 11:29 PM

Most important thing: have Algerian courtesy flag onboard. Even if you are just passing by - in case of entering their harbour in emergency. They will not let you just buy it in the first port. I've just had an full blown court case two weeks ago in Tenes because of that. They will give you penalty between 200 and 1000EUR (I was lucky - only 200EUR).
Just in case - harbourmaster and his men are your best friends. Immigration - greedy and corrupted. Customs - neutral. Coastguard - mostly ok, except the one that started whole thing. Maybe it was just a bad luck we've entered the port on his shift. According to their procedures after being sentenced you have to spend there 10 days before you can pay the fine and then leave.

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