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Aruba: Clearance in Oranjestad

By Dave Curtis — last modified Nov 13, 2017 12:24 PM

Published: 2017-10-24 00:00:00
Countries: Aruba

Aruba: Clearance in Oranjestad

Aruba Customs Pier courtesy of SY Dea Latis

We entered Oranjestad from the Southeast. Prior to entering call Aruba Port Control on vhf 16 for permission to enter, they're very helpful. Proceed Northwest past Renaissance Marina to the second pier. To me they look like inverse piers as they are cut into the island rather than sticking out into the harbour, just a thought.

Docking for Clearance

The Customs and Immigration pier is the last one (or second of the two big piers) heading Northwest in the harbour. At the end of that pier you will see a very small white building, lone palm tree next to it, big yellow BOLLARDS along pier and part of the pier has about 50 feet of white plywood bolted along the face. In the prevailing wind it will be a port side tie up along that white(ish) plywood. The plywood face is much preferred over tying up along the concrete and big tires. Use plenty of fenders if winds are high. The big yellow bollards were too far apart for us, so we tied the bow to one bollard and stern to a rusty ring bolted along the top of the pier. Nobody will assist you while docking. If that plywood faced area is being used by another boat you will have to use a fender board(s) and tie up along the part of the pier with the big tires, or wait until that space is vacated.

Aruba Port Control will have called the officials to your boat. Customs officers were waiting, Immigration followed about 10 minutes later.

Customs:

Fill out two identical forms, one for check-in, one for check-out. They will want clearance from last port, vessel documentation and your check-in form. They may do a quick search of your boat for firearms and spear guns, they hold spear guns until departure (they searched our boat).

Immigration:

Fill out one single crew list form, and a small card for each crew member. Give them the form, cards, passports, and a copy of vessel documentation.

Both agencies will take their required forms/documents/passports etc. to their offices and in a short time will return with your passports, documents and clearances. Customs and Immigration do not work as a team (not a criticism, just noting) so your respective check-ins may happen at slightly different times, maybe 10-15 minutes from one another. You can download the forms from their official websites, but they both showed up with lots of blank forms.

I think it took about the same amount of time to tie up and depart the pier as it did to clear-in. Port Control, Customs and Immigration officials were very professional, pleasant and great to work with.

Other than high winds and a little chop in the harbour, it was a very easy, pleasant and free check in process!

Make sure to call port control before departing the pier!

Dave Curtis
SY Dea Latis

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 13, 2017 12:23 PM

Update a few weeks later from Dave Curtis:

Unfortunately, the white plywood on the concrete Customs dock has now been covered in large chained tyres. A fender-board is a MUST here to protect your boat. If you ask, the Port Authority may let you tie up along the concrete dock behind the big tug on the outer face of the pier. There is about 50 feet of concrete pier with no tyres just behind that tug. If you tie up behind the tug the prevailing winds should be pushing you away from the pier. Use plenty of fenders.

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