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By No owner — last modified Mar 28, 2017 08:18 AM

 Cayman Islands - Formalities

Clearance

The SailClear advance web notification service for clearance is now operational here. Users previously registered with the old eSeaClear system will find all their details have been carried over to the new system.

Clearing In

"George Town Port Security" should be called on VHF Channel 16 on entering Cayman Islands waters. It is is monitored 24 hours a day. They will notify Customs and Immigration and keep you informed regarding boarding of the yacht.

All vessels arriving in the Cayman Islands must first proceed to the George Town Port in Grand Cayman or the Cayman Brac Port for Customs Clearance. Each port has its own procedure for arrivals.

Officials are extremely strict (but friendly!) and insist that procedures are followed to the letter; visiting boats have been fined for the smallest infringement.

Boats must fly the Q flag from the moment they enter territorial waters.

Proceeding in person to the Customs Office for clearance on arrival is prohibited, unless authorized by Customs. Customs will board the yacht and want to do a search (cruisers report this takes approx. 3 hours). On boarding of the vessel by Customs Officials for clearance, all restricted or prohibited items must be declared and surrendered to Customs. See Customs below for details.

Evidence of clearance from your last Port of Call must be produced.

Boats are only ever sprayed at the discretion of the local Dept. of Agriculture and/or the Dept. of the Environment, if they are arriving from a country with a known pest or disease that they fear might be transmitted to the local environment or population (such as Dengue, Malaria, Zika, etc., transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito) and, even then, it is not done regularly.

Similarly, vessel searches are done at the discretion of C. I. Customs and all firearms and spear guns must be declared or they will be confiscated if found and the owner prosecuted for its importation.

Office hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm, 8:30am to 12:30pm on Saturdays.

A special attendance fee is charged for vessels requesting clearance outside of the normal working hours.

Boats must clear in and out of every individual island.

 

Clearing Out

On finally clearing out for a foreign destination, Immigration must be visited by all the crew no more than 5 hours before departure.

Last updated May 2017.

Immigration

All visitors must have a passport valid beyond their stay.

An initial stay of 30 days is usually granted - which may be extended for up to 6 months provided proof of financial means/funding is submitted on arrival or at the Immigration department. An extension of up to a further six months may be granted on application.

See Official Cayman Island website for a list of countries whose nationals require a visa.

Nationals of countries which normally require a visa, but who are permanent residents of the U.K., Canada or the USA, are permitted entry without a visa but have evidence of their place of residence.

Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest British Embassy or consulate with a visa section. Applications can take 2 weeks to process.

Last updated January 2017.

Customs

Length of Stay for yachts

Vessels are initially granted a stay of 30 days. If staying longer, then an extension must be applied for in writing to the main Customs office by the airport. It may be best to actually visit the office to obtain the correct email address. The correct office is the one upstairs with a separate entrance, not the main office downstairs.

Vessel searches are done at the discretion of C. I. Customs and all firearms and spear guns must be declared or they will be confiscated if found and the owner prosecuted for its importation.

The list of prohibited items include:-

Any controlled or illegal drugs or utensils, obscene publications and articles, any goods or items depicting or bearing any reference to ganja (marijuana) or the plant, instruments and appliances for gambling. turtles, turtle meat and other turtle products.

Unless they are transit goods, the export of Lobster, Conch or conch meat in any form is prohibited.

Firearms, Ammunition, Bullet proof Vest and Gun powder are prohibited unless accompanied by an import permit and license signed by the Commissioner of Police.

Firearms are held by Customs for the duration of the yacht's stay, unless a yacht is fitted with a proper safe, which can be sealed.

Bows, pellet guns, catapults or other manually operated weapons which are capable of projecting arrows or other missiles are prohibited unless accompanied by an import permit and license signed by the Commissioner of Police.

Spear guns, Hawaiian slings and parts etc. are prohibited.

Also declare any stocks of alcohol and tobacco on the boat.

Live plants and plant cuttings, raw fruits and vegetables are restricted.

Importing Spares

Spare parts can be imported for yachts in transit duty free as long as the import company or Customs officer has a copy of the boat's clearance documents. However, it is not an easy procedure. The imported item has to be collected from the Customs office in the port authority building, not the airport or the cruise terminal. A Customs officer is supposed to accompany you and see the parcel going onto the boat but this requirement might be waived.

Last updated January 2017.

Customs Office
Collector of Customs, Government of the Cayman Islands , P.O. Box 898 GT, Administration (HQ) , 52 Owen Roberts Drive, George Town, Cayman Islands
Tel:+345 949-2473 Fax:+345 945 1573

Health

Boats are only ever sprayed at the discretion of the local Dept. of Agriculture and/or the Dept. of the Environment, if they are arriving from a country with a known pest or disease that they fear might be transmitted to the local environment or population (such as Dengue, Malaria, Zika, etc., transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito) and, even then, it is not done regularly.

Malaria still occurs occasionally and there are lots of mosquitoes and sandflies in the Caymans.

The main hospital is now part of a large Health Services Complex located in George Town, Grand Cayman. It has modern equipment and facilities and highly trained personnel. A 24 hour hyperbaric decompression chamber is available for divers and an air ambulance service for other emergencies. The telephone number is (345) 949-8600.

Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac. The number is (345) 948-2243/2245.

There is a small clinic in Little Cayman that can be reached at (345) 948-1051.

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. The Cayman Islands are 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.

Fees

Overtime fees are payable after normal working hours (0830-1700 Monday to Friday, 0830-1230 Saturday).

There is a small charge for the Customs forms. There is no charge for Immigration, but a charge of CI$100 per month for an extension of stay.

A special attendance fee of CI$56 if arriving outside office hours.

There is a charge of CI$75 for mosquito spraying the  boat outside working hours, otherwise it is free.

Last updated January 2017.

Restrictions

Anchoring:
Yachts are to use fixed moorings only. Boats of less than 60 feet may anchor in sand, as long as no grappling hook is used and no coral is touched. Anchoring is permitted in designated anchorage areas and in replenishment zones.
There are permanent moorings on the west coast of Grand Cayman which is a popular diving area.

Marine Life
The Cayman Islands have a particularly rich marine life and so strict regulations are in force to protect its beauty. Many indigenous species are protected including sea turtles, iguanas and orchids. In the Marine Parks and Environmental Zones no marine life at all may be taken, although one may fish outside protected areas.

Lobster: The closed season is February 1 to July 31. Only spiny lobster may be taken and six-inch tail length is the minimum size. There is a catch limit of five per person or 15 per boat per day, whichever is less.

Conch: There is a catch limit of 15 per person or 20 per boat per day, whichever is less. No one may buy or receive more than 20 conch from Cayman waters per day.

Grouper: Certain areas off the east end of each of the islands are protected for grouper spawning.

Penalties: A maximum fine of $5000 and one year in jail can be applied for contravening the regulations. Confiscation of the boat and other equipment may also be ordered. The protected areas and marine parks are clearly marked while full-time officers enforce the rules and can arrest offenders.

The main restrictions are as follows:

  • Damaging coral by anchor or chains is prohibited.
  • No marine life may be taken while scuba diving.
  • No corals or sponges may be removed.
  • A spear gun or seine net may not be used without a licence from the Cayman Marine Conservation Board, and then only in certain areas.
  • The export of live fish and other marine life is prohibited.
  • Fishing with gill nets or poison is prohibited.
  • Dumping anything at all in the sea is prohibited. All yachts need a holding tank.


Other Restrictions

It is forbidden to discharge ANY waste water into the sea. If you do not have a holding tank, you will need to stay in a marina and always use the facilities ashore.

Please note that the Cayman Islands Law prohibits all forms of public nudity, including topless sunbathing. Many business places also request that you wear shoes and an appropriate cover-up before entering.

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.

Local Customs

Local attitudes can be conservative and some people may not approve of public displays of affection between same sex couples. Same sex partnerships, legally binding or otherwise, are not recognised in Cayman law.

Pets

Pets must have an Import Licence or valid Animal Passport issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture, and an Official Health Certificate (issued within 14 days of arrival) The Health Certificate must state:-

  1. Your pet is not infected with any communicable disease and is free from external parasites.
  2. Your pet must be treated with a topical preparation known to have residual action against ticks for at least 14 days.
  3. The pet has not been kept within 30 miles of an area officially quarantined for Foot and Mouth disease during the past 30 days (this does not apply to dogs and cats arriving directly from USA, Canada or UK).
  4. The pet has not been exposed to rabies or has not been present within the last 6 months in an official quarantine rabies area.
  5. The pet has a history of all inoculations (including date and type) such as distemper, rabies (vaccines must have been given within one year of travel to the Cayman Islands.

Prohibited Breeds and Origin Countries - Breeds such as Malanois, Rottweiller, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brazileiro, Chinese Shar-Pei, Pit Bull Terrior, Japanese Atiko, Staffordshire, Mastiff (all types) are not permitted in the Cayman Islands. Moreover all dogs and cats originating from Asia, Africa, South and Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are also prohibited.

Further information from Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services, PO Box 459 GT, Grand Cayman Islands Tel: (345) 947 3090 - Fax: (345) 947 2634.

and Cayman Islands Customs Website

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