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By No owner — last modified Oct 04, 2016 02:55 PM

 Azores - Formalities

Clearance

The Q flag should be flown at the first port of entry into the Azores.

At the first POE the following officials need to be seen by all arriving yachts (both those from the EU and those from elsewhere):

Customs (Alfândega)

Immigration (SEF)

Guarda Nacional Repubicana (GNR)

As part of Portugal, the Azores are members of the EU, with which they have a special relationship. The usual EU regulations apply, although because of their isolated position, the authorities tend to treat all arriving yachts as if coming from a non-EU country and subsequently subject them to the full range of clearance formalities.

It is important to note that in both the Azores, and in mainland Portugal, yachts must check in and out with all the above officials at EVERY port visited.

Officials are usually located within the marina office, or nearby.  Locations and opening times of each island’s Customs and Immigration offices are tied with marina office schedules. See each port page for further details.

All boats must display the Portuguese courtesy flag.

On departure, fees must be paid at marina office and all the officials visited again for clearance out.

Last updated June 2017.

Immigration

The Azores comes under Portugal's Schengen Area agreement and therefore has similar visa regulations.

See Portugal/Immigration for details.

If wishing to remain longer than 3 months, it is possible to apply for residency. The first requirement is to obtain a Número de Contribuinte (Número Fiscal) from the Finanças office (see page 52), after which any Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Immigration and Border Control Department) can issue an Autorização de Residência (residency document). It is reported to cost €15 per person. Residency gives a considerable reduction on berthing charges at Portos dos Açores marinas. Also there is an upper limit on the cost of flights with SATA Air Açores.

Last updated August 2017.

Customs

Firearms must be declared, and it may also be advisable to declare prescription medications as the Customs authorities can enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary importation of such items.

The Azores are part of the EU VAT area, so non-EU yachts may stay for eighteen months before becoming liable for duty. Because the VAT rate here is lower than in mainland Portugal (as well as in other EU countries), it is a useful place to officially import a boat.

Last updated June 2017.

Health

It is not necessary to have special vaccinations when visiting the Azores, but a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required if coming from an infected area.

There are modern hospitals in Ponta Delgada, Angra and Horta in additional to health centres on each island and pharmacies in each city (recognised by the green cross)

Emergency number is 112.

Documents

Yachts must carry their original registration document, insurance policy and ship's radio licence. One member of the crew must have a radio operator’s certificate of competence. For EU boats, proof of VAT status is also required. It is also very useful to have a typed sheet containing the name of the boat, port of registry, and the crew list.

A transit log (Livrete de Transito) is no longer required by non-EU yachts.

All yachts must clear in and out of all ports, including harbours on the same island.

Fees

There is a small fee to the Lighthouse Service for yachts over 79 ft (24 m).

Restrictions

Spearfishing within 164 ft (50 m) of a public beach, port or protected area, and spearfishing with scuba tanks anywhere, is prohibited. A permit to dive can be obtained from the Capitania.

It is forbidden for boats, local or visiting, to anchor at Porto Pim (south of Horta) due to the optical fiber submarine cable laid there.

Local Customs

  • It is forbidden to sunbathe topless.
  • Don't photograph people without asking for permission.
  • Tips and gifts compensate for quality of service; 5% is usual in restaurants and taxis.

Pets

The Azores comes under the EU Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) and pets must have a Pet Passport, be micro-chipped and have a current Health Certificate and Rabies Vaccination Certificate issued by an authorised Veterinarian.

Direcao Geral de Veterinária e Alimentacao dos Acores (DGAV)
http://www.dgv.min-agricultura.pt/portal/page/portal/DGV

For full details on requirement if coming from another EU country see the DGAV website.

Requirements for cats and dogs entering from non-EU countries can also be found on the DGAV website hereIt is compulsory to contact in writing the competent authority at your Port of Entry, at least 48 hours before the arrival of the animals.

Last updated June 2017.

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