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By No owner — last modified Jan 17, 2017 02:24 PM

 Canary Islands - Formalities

Clearance

As part of Spain, the Canaries are members of the EU, with which they have a special relationship. The islands have remained outside the EU VAT area, although there is a low local tax on sales and services. 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.

All boats should report immediately to the Port Authority or marina on arrival and formalities can now be completed at the major port on any of the seven islands.

The Port Captain or marina office who will advise on the correct procedure and, in the case of the marinas, will contact the relevant authorities. The Canaries are a duty-free area, so yachts are not expected to clear Customs.

There are no restrictions on yacht movements in the Canaries, although papers may be checked at subsequent ports.

It is advisable to obtain Clearance when leaving the Canaries as this is often required by officials in other countries. However, in Las Palmas it is almost impossible to obtain such papers.

Last updated November 2016.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for 3 months beyond the intended stay.

Visa exemptions and requirements are as for Spain; however, this does not appear to be applied strictly to yachts, provided the person also leaves the islands by yacht.

The Canary Islands are part of the Schengen Agreement Area.

Passports of crew are not normally stamped on arrival, but if crew members wish to leave by air, it is essential to get their passports stamped, as otherwise they might be turned back from the airport.

Visas are not required for nationals of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland regardless of the length of stay.

Visas are not required for nationals of other West European countries, Canada and the United States, as well as Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela for stays of up to 90 days in any 180 day period.

Children under 14 of any nationality do not require visas if they have their own passports.

Visas are required for all other nationals or for stays longer than 90 days, to be obtained in advance from a Spanish embassy or consulate abroad. If obtained locally, proof of medical insurance and adequate funds will be required.

National of the following countries will need to apply for a visa in person:- Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran , Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, N. Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Tunisia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Often the immigration official does not stamp passports of people entering on yachts, but if planning to leave Spain by another means of transport, an entry stamp (entrada) will be needed.

Last updated February 2016.

Customs

There are no customs formalities on arrival, nor are there restrictions on firearms.

However, Customs are concerned about drug trafficking, especially from North Africa, and although they appear to be easy-going, they do keep a close eye on yacht movement.

It is possible to lay up a boat in which case the authorities must be informed and the boat is sealed. Duty is not then liable.

Although the Islands are in the EU, they are outside the EU Customs territory, so VAT is not applied here. Instead, there is a specific Sales Tax (IGIC) which has a general rate of 5%. This tax is payable on non-EU boats which remain in use, in the country for more than 18 months.

British cruisers who recently imported their boat into Spain (in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) with the new improved Spanish system, reported the process to be simple. All paperwork is done at Trafico and 12% of the purchase cost (not current value) of the boat needs to be paid.

Importing Spares

Importing spares can unfortunately still be very complicated due to the Canaries’ status as an outermost region, outside the EU VAT area. It is recommended to use an agent if bringing in items of value, since this way the item can both be sent as cargo from airport to airport (each of the islands has at least one!) and arrangements can also be made for the item to be imported to the boat as a vessel in transit, thus avoiding importation taxes.

Courier companies (DHL, Fedex, UPS and TNT) can be rather difficult to work with as they either have in-house customs departments or send off packages to third parties, upon which point, especially recently in the case of Fedex, they can be very difficult to trace. If this route cannot be avoided, be sure to add a contact telephone number on the packaging to avoid the package being held in limbo.

Last updated March 2017.

Health

Medical facilities are good.

There are both public and private hospitals on the main islands. They generally have interpreters for non-Spanish speaking patients.

Fees

There are no overtime fees as clearance is done during office hours.

Tasa de ayuda a la navegacion (Navigational assistance rates or the "lighthouse tax")

Light dues, payable throughout Spain (and the Canary Islands), were revised for 2015. This tax is now charged as a daily rate to transient foreign yachts.

Tasa de ayuda a la navegación (T-0): m ² x 0.025 x day. (Sail ≥ 12 m)

See this noonsite report for full details.

Tasa de Embarcaciones deportivas y de recreo (Recreational vessel rates)

This is charged by the day as well. See the above report for full details.

Tasa de embarcaciones deportivas y de recreo (Berthing) (T-5): 0,145 x m² x day.

Total Daily Rate to pay

Multiply length (meters) by beam (meters), and result in square meters multiplied by 0.17€ (0.145€ + 0.025€), and the daily rate is obtained (included IGIC local tax).

Last updated January 2015.

Restrictions

Fishing

Spear fishing and fishing with sub-aqua equipment in the nature reserves or protected underwater parks is forbidden, as is the taking of coral or other marine life in these areas.

Diving

Diving near military establishments, naval or commercial vessels, or inside harbours is also forbidden.

Diving is only permitted with an authorised diving establishment and the participant must have a diving qualification, insurance and a Spanish Diving licence. This latter requires a passport, a medical examination and a dive logbook.

Government-run ports (Puertos Canarios)

A number of ports in the Canary Islands are run by the Government (see list below).

A new digital system for pre-booking a berth in one of these ports has just been created and is available on the Puertos Canarios website, although cruisers have reported that this is not yet a reliable service.

If seeking confirmation further to making an online berthing application, having not yet received a response, you could ask your current marina staff if they could assist.  However cruisers should note that the reservations offices are only operative weekdays from 08.00 – 14:30.  Also during high season (Oct-Nov) marina staff may have little time to assist.

Local representatives are currently working hard to improve the current procedures, which are unsatisfactory, and we will provide updates as soon as they become available.

Turning up un-announced does risk being turned away.

LA GRACIOSA
Puerto de Caleta del Sebo

LANZAROTE
Puerto de Playa Blanca
Puerto del Carmen
Puerto de Órzola

FUERTEVENTURA
Puerto de Morro Jable
Puerto de Gran Tarajal
Puerto de Corralejo

GRAN CANARIA
Puerto de Arguineguín
Puerto de Las Nieves

TENERIFE
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de Garachico
Puerto de Playa San Juan

LA GOMERA
Puerto de Vueltas
Puerto de Playa Santiago

EL HIERRO
Puerto de La Restinga

Anchoring

There are restrictions on anchoring in the Canaries and in many places authorisation is required. If you anchor without permission, you may well be moved on by the Guardia Civil. Wherever possible, seek permission from the port authority first.

Parque Natural del Archipielago Chinijo, Graciosa (2017)
An anchoring permit is required if wishing to visit this national park. Contact medioambiente3@cabildodelanzarote.com
Or download the form here.

Last updated November 2016.

Protected Marine Areas around Lanzarote
Posted August 2016.
A useful map by Calero Marinas charting the sensitive areas around Lanzarote.

Clearance Agents

Intercop Yachts
C/ OPDR, S/N. - Puerto de La Luz , 35008 – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Las Palmas – España
Tel:+34 928 471 900 / Mob: +34 607 552 322 Fax:+34 928 460 755
Yacht ship agent.

Pets

The Canary Islands come under the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) and animals are allowed in and out providing they have Pet Passport, microchip, current Health Certificate and current Rabies Vaccination Certificate issued by recognised Veterinarian and have been blood tested prior to travel as detailed under the scheme.

Clinica Veterinaria Monzón
Calle de Nicolas Estevanez 53 , 35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Canary Islands, Spain
Tel:+34 928 22 02 30 - Mob 686 93 02
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-21:00, Sat 10:30-13:00
This well established Vet Centre near Canteras beach in Las Palmas, is much appreciated by visiting yachtsmen, offering all the services you might need for your on board pet. Undertake extension of the Export Certificate requested by Sanidad for any Atlantic crossing. English spoken.
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