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By No owner — last modified Nov 28, 2017 01:29 PM

 Antigua & Barbuda - Formalities

Clearance

For a full explanation of eSeaClear's service and other web clearance services in the Caribbean see report Eastern Caribbean Cruising: Clearance Procedures Simplified

eSeaClear for pre-arrival Customs notification

Antigua & Barbuda is currently the only country using the eSeaClear system for pre-arrival customs notification. This service allows the Captain to submit electronic notification to Antigua Customs Officers, which aims to speed up the process of clearing into the country by around 75%. In actual fact, cruisers have reported that, as well as entering information electronically, forms are then printed, need to be signed and then processed by each department. The process is still cumbersome.

The eSeaClear website can be found at www.eseaclear.com - please remember the Captain of the boat will still need to clear into Antigua in person at the Customs, Immigration and Parks Offices before proceeding to the marina or fuel dock. eSeaClear have offices now in English Harbour.

NOTE: There are certain clearance procedures common to all ports for vessels clearing into any port in Antigua (note: it's not possible as of May 2013 to clear into Barbuda). Jolly Harbour requires all yachts additionally visit the Customs Dock, except those constrained by draught, and no yacht may enter the harbour after 18:00.

Inward Clearance:

  1. The Q flag must be flown and all crew must remain on board until clearance is completed by the skipper.
  2. Only the Captain may go ashore to clear Customs and Immigration with ship's all papers, passports, clearance certificate (zarpe) from last port, as well as airline tickets for any crew disembarking in Antigua. A download of the official crew list form is available here. This list must be signed by the captain prior to entry. Have 3 or 4 copies of it.
  3. If a vessel arrives after hours, the captain must ensure that no crew goes ashore until clearance has been completed at the first opportunity (i.e., immediately the next morning).
  4. Crew leaving a boat by plane must have a valid airline ticket to a country that will accept them without question (no chance of being refused entry). This ticket must be presented to the Immigration official at the time of arrival to Antigua.
  5. Captains wishing to exchange crew members with another vessel must do so in the presence of an immigration official.

Note: Heavy fines have been levied of late, in both Jolly Harbour and English Harbour ($5,000 EC), against yachts whose crew leave the boat before Customs clearance, or against Captains who send crew to complete clearance.

Outward Clearance:

Port fees must be paid before collecting the port clearance certificate. This must be presented to the immigration official, together with the ship's papers and passports. Vessels must leave within 24 hours after completing clearance procedures.

Clearance in Barbuda:

Hurricane Irma Update: Currently, there are no functioning facilities in Barbuda. The following information is archival and may continue in the future; however, currently it is unclear when service will continue.

If you wish to clear in at Barbuda you must first seek permission from the head of Customs, 48 hours in advance. Contact email for customs@ab.gov.ag or queenbee.fdr@gmail.com and phone (809) 462-0829 or fax to 1-268-462-2767. The details required are : the purpose of visit, the crew list, the details of the vessel- size, class, capacity etc.

If you wish to clear out from Barbuda, you can either clear out from Antigua and visit Barbuda on departure (but must leave within 24 hours), probably the more straightforward option, or, ring 460 0085 or 725 7933 and ask to clear out at the office in Codrington (advisable to do this from Antigua to be on the safe side).

The difficulty with this is, of course, is that one needs a phone and coverage in the Spanish Point to Coco Point area is very poor. In addition clearing out in Barbuda can be a time consuming affair as it's a long way to the local offices.  See Codrington for more details.

Last updated October 2017

The Comptroller of Customs
Customs Department , Church & Thames Streets , St. John's, Antigua
Tel:(809) 462-0829, (809) 462-1241, (809) 462-2400 Fax:(809) 462-2767

Immigration

All visitors require a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond their departure date.

No visas are required by nationals of most European countries, USA, many South American, Caribbean, or Commonwealth countries (except nationals of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka who do require a visa).

For an up to date list of which citizens who do require a visa see http://cip.gov.ag

On arrival, Immigration will issue a visa for the duration of one's stay (maximum of 6 months). It is advisable to request more than the intended time, as extensions must be obtained from the capital of St John's and can cost as much as US$100.

If crew leave the boat in Antigua, they must have a valid airline ticket out of the country; it is the captain's responsibility to provide this ticket for all persons leaving and to ensure that they sign off the ship's crew with immigration. Crew arriving to join a yacht by air must show to Immigration on arrival, a copy of a letter signed by the captain, together with a copy of the ship's papers. Immigration must be notified of any crew departures or changes.

Last updated March 2017.

For Visa Applications:-
Apply to Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda
Opening hours: 10am-3pm (Mon-Fri)

Customs

Fire arms must be declared and if Customs officers are satisfied that they are safely secured, you may be allowed to keep them on board.

There is a zero tolerance of illegal drugs and the penalties are very severe.

The importation and wearing of camouflage clothing is prohibited in Antigua and Barbuda.

Do not unload any ship’s stores or equipment.

There is a range of fruits (in particular citrus and coconut) which may be prohibited.

See http://customs.gov.ag/customs-procedures/private-yachts for full Customs information.

Items for a yacht-in-transit arriving on island by courier will be delivered directly to the Bonded Warehouse at the Customs Office in Falmouth/English Harbour. The Captain will need to visit the warehouse with their Ship’s papers and open the packages. In instances where there is a dutiable item, the Customs Officer will collect duty using the simplified form currently in use at the General Post Office.

Other packages will be delivered to the Post Office in St John's where they can be collected after clearance by a visiting Customs agent. If, unusually, the agent is not present collecting the package will require several journeys between the Post Office and Customs before finally taking delivery.

Last updated March 2017.

Customs Office
Lower Church and Thames Street, St Johns, Antigua
Tel:1-268-462-0026 / (268) 462-0028 / (268) 562-1575 Fax:1-268-562-2767

Health

Mount St. John's Medical Center is Antigua and Barbuda's main medical-care facility, replacing Holberton Hospital.

Note that the private medical clinic, Adelin, will not accept medical travel insurance in payment for treatment. Patients must pay a deposit of US$4000 via a credit card before ANY treatment will be given. If funds deposited exceed the cost of treatment, a refund will be issued. Check your insurance company is willing to reimburse the cost of treatment at Adelin.

The dengue fever mosquito is found throughout Antigua and Barbuda. You should take normal precautions against mosquito bites.

There is a high prevalence of the HIV/AIDS virus on the island. Take precautions to avoid exposure to it.

There are no hyperbaric chamber available on island. Divers in need of treatment for decompression illness may be transferred to Saba or Guadeloupe.

Pharmacies: There are currently none in the English and Falmouth Harbour areas. St John's has a large number, including 
the Ceco Pharmacy on the High Street which is open 7 days a week from 08:15 to midnight.

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Antigua & Barbuda is an area of interest with multiple reported cases and active virus transmission. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

Last updated September 2016.

Documents

To expedite the clearance procedures, the Customs Department suggests using the eSeaClear process.

Vessels will need the following documents to clear in:
• Clearance from previous port
• Vessel documentation or registration
• Five copies of the crew/passenger list

All boats in Antiguan waters must have a valid cruising permit, which should be obtained on entry and enables you to go anywhere in Antiguan waters, including Barbuda. In nearly all cases, yachts must clear into Antigua first because cruising permits are not available in Barbuda.

The permit is still valid if the yacht leaves Antigua and returns within the period of the permit.

If intending to charter, one must apply for an official licence from the Chief Marine Surveyor/Examiner in St John's Harbour. Tel. +1 268 462-1273.

Fees

Port entry, depending on length, from US$2 (up to 20 feet) to $12 (120-150 feet). Also a clearance fee of approximately $3 per person.

Departure fee: $70EC

Cruising permit from US$8 (up to 20 feet) to $20 (120-150 feet) per month. One can buy an annual cruising permit to avoid paying the charge at every entry.

Mooring fees in English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour are less for anchoring than for at the dock and are calculated per foot per day, week or month. If the fees are not paid in advance the daily rate is charged.

National Parks Authority fees are payable at Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua Slipways, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour Marina and Catamaran Marina.

Dockyard entry is EC$5 per person, valid for duration of stay.

No overtime fees, except at St John's, where they are about EC$20

Last updated February 2011.

Restrictions

Spearfishing is illegal in Antigua and Barbuda waters by non Antigua nationals. The coastline between Pillars of Hercules and entrance to Mamora Bay is protected and no fishing of any type is allowed in this area.

VHF Channel 68 is used as the calling frequency by all coastal stations, including repair companies, taxis and restaurants, so use of this channel as a working frequency is not permitted in Antiguan waters. It is strongly advised that an alternative channel is used as soon as contact is made on Channel 68.

The Coastguard stand by on VHF Channel 68 and 16. A boat can be searched either on entry into port from foreign waters or with a signed search warrant from a magistrates court.

You should be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Barbuda - Blue Halo Project
http://waittinstitute.org/bluehaloinitiative/barbuda/

Legislation is in place now for the protection of the fishery and ecosystem of Barbuda. This means restrictions on anchoring, fishing, diving etc. See this noonsite report for details.

Wider Caribbean's Marine Protected Areas (CaMPAM)
A useful database of MPAs in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region. All Marine Parks are MPAs, and therefore if wanting to find out about any marine parks in the islands you are visiting, details and location can be sourced via this website.

Pets

Pets must be microchipped and blood tested for rabies at an approved laboratory. An official Health certificate issued between 7 to 10 days before arrival must be produced.

An Import Permit must be obtained from the Chief Veterinary Officer before arrival.

Once the permit is obtained in advance, inform the vet 72 hours before arrival (by email). On arrival, go ashore without your pet and clear in, informing the customs authorities how many animals you have on board. They will call the vet and make an appointment, who will come to the customs office, normally within 24 hours. They will inspect the animal/s and clear it/them in.

There is a US$50 fee for this service.

On departure, if the next island to be visited requires a health certificate (not the case if you are going to Guadeloupe, for example), then call the vet directly a few days in advance and make an appointment. They will come to the same customs office and inspect your pet and issue a health certificate.

The fee is US$50 per animal.

Last updated May 2016.

Veninary & Livestock Division
P.O. Box 1282 , Frias Hill Road, St John's , Antigua
Tel:(268)-460-1759 Fax:(268)460-1759 / 462-610
Apply here for an import certificate.
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