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By No owner — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:21 AM

 China - Formalities

Clearance

Intended ports must be notified one week in advance of ETA and again 24 hours before ETA.

On arrival and departure at every port Customs and Immigration must be visited and the landing card for the next port presented.

Foreign vessels may not enter or leave ports, or shift berths within a port, without permission from the Port Authority and, possibly, without a pilot being sent on board.

Vessels entering or leaving any port may be submitted to a quarantine examination and an inspection by the Port Authorities and other relevant organisations.

After having berthed in the place assigned by the Port Authority, the captain must present the ship's papers and crew's passports and also prepare the following documents: foreign vessel's entry report, crew list, import manifest and a customs declaration. Other documents that may be required are a valid survey certificate of vessel or builder's certificate, and the captain's certificate of competence. It is important to have a ship's stamp to use on documents.

Yachts intending to visit Shanghai must take on board a pilot at the sea buoy. It has been reported that the pilot fee is extremely high, but the payment cannot be avoided as pilotage on the river is compulsory.

Before departure, the captain must submit a foreign vessel departure report, an export manifest and a list of crew replacements, if any have occurred.

In the recent past, some yachts which have visited China have not been obliged to engage the services of a pilot, although the regulations stipulate that this is compulsory. The same applies to the services of an agent (see recommended agents under clearance for each port). The official organisation allowed to act as agents on behalf of foreign vessels is China Ocean Shipping Agency (Penavico). This is a state-owned company under the Ministry of Communications and has offices located in many coastal cities: www.Penavico.sh.cn. The only contact we have is for the Shanghai office.

Another organisation which may be able to offer help is:-
Quingdao Administration Centre of Sailing
www.qdsailing.org (but their website no longer appears active). A possible email contact may be lw_frank@126.com

Cruisers Carol and Brian Boswell (email pewterandmugsy@gmail.com) are happy to answer questions as they have previously cruised in China.

Yachts other than Hong Kong and Macau registered ones are not allowed into China for repairs.

Last updated March 2017.

China Ocean Shipping Agency (Penavico)
Shanghai
Tel:86-21-63647688 Fax:86-21-63935701

Immigration

Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of the intended visit.

A visa is required by all visitors, obtainable in advance from Chinese embassies or consulates. The only exemptions are for citizens of Chinese origin, as well as residents of Hong Kong holding a certificate of return issued by the China Travel Service in Hong Kong.

Passports must be carried at all times when ashore. Police carry out random checks on foreign nationals.

The length of a visa varies from one to three months. Travel permits may also be required for visits to certain areas. If plannig to visit Hong Kong and return to China, a multi-entry visa must be applied for.

Citizens of most countries can visit Macao without a visa.

After the vessel has been inspected by the authorities, in some ports crew members may have to apply to the Frontier Inspection office for landing permits.

Last updated March 2017.

Customs

Prohibited imports are firearms, pornographic material and any material considered politically offensive.

Valuables and photographic equipment must be declared to Customs on arrival.

Note that if purchasing a yacht in China and taking it out of the country it will be eligible for a substantial amount of tax if it is brought back into China for any reason.

Last updated March 2017.

Health

On arrival, a complete health declaration must be made. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

The tap water is not suitable for drinking. Bottled water is widely available.

Documents

Documents required are:-

Normal ship's papers, foreign vessel's entry report, crew list, import manifest and a Customs declaration. Other documents that may be required are a valid survey certificate of vessel or builder's certificate, and the captain's certificate of competence (ICC or similar).

It is important to have a ship's stamp to use on documents.

Restrictions

Vessels are prohibited from entering or passing through forbidden areas unless specially authorised by the relevant authorities. There are strict regulations concerning the access and movement of foreign vessels in Chinese territorial waters and ports. The most important regulations have been outlined, and although they may not be applied as strictly to yachts as to cargo ships or passenger vessels, anyone sailing to China should be aware of them.

No passenger or crew member of foreign vessels is allowed to photograph or make sketches of harbours.

Radios, radio telephones, radar, RDF, echo sounders, sextants, signal rockets, signal flares or signal guns shall not be used while in port. In case of an emergency or for dispatching urgent messages, one of the above may be used, but a report must be submitted immediately after usage.

Pets

China has a new rule in effect that all pets must go into quarantine for seven days even if they meet all the requirements of entry. At the end of the seven days the remainder of the 30 days quarantine period can be home quarantine. Bringing a pet into China is complicated even if you have the proper Health Certificate and Rabies Vaccination Certificate and it is recommended you use a specialist company such as Jialian Kennel - www.jialiang.com. Only one pet per adult is allowed into China. Documentation required for pet entry to China = - International Health Certificate issued in originating country showing name, age, sex and breed - Vaccination Certificate showing rabies shot has been given within the preceding 12 months but not less than 30 days before departure. Cats must be vaccinated against Enteritis (E3)within 12 months of arrival in China. You will also need a certificate for Feline Panleucopania, and Feline Respiratory Disease Complex vaccinations.

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