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By No owner — last modified Sep 02, 2014 09:25 PM

 Ecuador - Formalities

Clearance

Agents are required for all foreign-flagged boats clearing into all ports and have been since 2007. Puerto Amistad is allowed to represent the yachts without actually being a ship's agent, but all boats have to be represented by someone.

Even if your stop in Ecuador is simply for technical reasons (Transito Escala Tecnica), an agent is required. Agents fees therefore add up. See Fees below.

It is advisable to enter at Puerto Amistad, Puerto Lucia YC, Salinas YC or Guayaquil YC, as they are more used to foreign visitors and there are less likely to be problems with officials.

Yachts making clearance at other ports will also need an agent, however these companies are reluctant to help private yachts, and are expensive.

An agent fee must be paid for each clearance whether domestic or international. It is understood that this procedure must be followed at every port visited when it comes under the juristiction of a different Port Authority. Be sure to ask the agent to write down every charge and itemize what it is for. Get an official Factura (Government receipt) for everything.

Yachts sailing from one Ecuadorean port to another must obtain a domestic zarpe, while yachts leaving the country will require an international zarpe.

On arrival, the port captain should be contacted on VHF Channels 6 or 12, as Channel 16 is rarely used except as a general calling channel. The port captain will advise on where to berth the yacht for clearance.

Yachts intending to visit the Galapagos from Ecuador do not need an autographo in advance if they are only planning on visiting one port. The usual procedure is to obtain outward clearance (an international zarpe) for the Marquesas (or another offshore destination) and not to mention the intended stop in Galapagos to the officials. It must be mentioned, though, each port tends to have its own rules!

Last updated May 2013.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.

Nationals of the following countries require a visa in advance to enter Ecuador:- Algeria, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Lybia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine Authority, Panama, People's Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, and Vietnam.

All other nationals will be granted a "12-X" visa on arrival, valid for 90 days. A further 90 days extension is possible at a cost of US$200 plus a $30 application fee. If a couple can prove they're married (requires a marriage certificate with apostille from the issuing country) then the dependent is added for an additional $50. The same would apply for children in which case they'll need birth certificates with apostille.

The maximum stay is 6 months in every year.

Any extension to the 12-X visa must be applied for prior to its expiry. There is an automatic $200 fine (with an upper limit of $2000) for an expired visa.

Ensure that your passport is stamped on entry.

Visa requirements are not strictly enforced for those arriving by boat and short stays are granted on arrival even to nationalities that normally need visas.

It is a legal requirement to carry ID. You should keep a photocopy of your passport pages including your photograph and Ecuadorean immigration entry stamp with you at all times.

Last updated January 2014.

Customs

Since May 2011, foreign visiting sailboats are allowed to remain in Ecuador for up to a year, if the main purpose is tourism. 90 days will be granted on entry and an extension (up to 1 year) will be allowed once, at no cost. Do however bear in mind that an agent will charge a fee for securing the extension (for example Puerto Amistad charge $100).

Note, that Puerto Amistad are able to secure extensions of one year each for a total of three years, but then the boat has to leave the country.

Firearms must be declared.

The Ecuadorian Customs (Corporación Aduanera Ecuatoriana) now requires that all international merchant commercial ships and tourist yachts in transit, must be registered in the Customs computerized system called Sistema Interactivo de Comercio Exterior (SICE). Your agent will coordinate the registration of the vessel in the SICE, as well as in the MaritimeTraffic Information System (SITRAME).

Any involvement with illegal drugs is a serious crime. The penalties are harsh and prison conditions are extremely grim.

Last updated January 2014.

Health

Malaria and dengue fever are health risks in all coastal and jungle provinces.

Amoebic dysentery is endemic in some parts of the country.

Vaccination against yellow fever, as well as malaria, is is recommended.

Cholera is also a risk.

Documents

Owner and crew must have a valid passport, crew list, last zarpe and vessel original registration form. Have legible copies of all the above documents at hand.

Yachts must be registered with the computerised Customs system (SICE) as well as the Maritime Traffic Information System (SITRAME). The Agent will deal with this registration.

On departure from port, each yacht must provide a Sail Plan with details of waypoints on the intended route to the next port or out of territorial waters, along with predicted date and time of arrival. Again, the agent will organise this. Officially, the authorities (DIRNEA - www.dirnea.org) must be informed if you deviate more than 25 miles from your intended route or change your port of destination, however in practice this is not required.

Last updated January 2012.

DIRNEA
(Direccion Nacional de Espacios Aquaticos)
Tel:+593-4-2321602 Fax:+593-4-2324714
DIRNEA has information on SITRAME in Spanish and English on its website. SITRAME (Sistema de Información de Tráfico Marítimo) is a computer tracking system that has been set up to oversee the movements of all maritime shipping in Ecuadorean territorial waters. It has been implemented by the Ecuadorean Navy and managed by DIRNEA, the authority for the merchant navy. The area of jurisdiction is: West until 095° 23 00 W, from 01° 28' 54" N to 03° 23' 33.96" S; and, 200 NM around the Galápagos Islands.

Fees

A tax for light dues ("faros y boyas") of US$3 per gross ton for Galapagos cruising or US$0.73 for Ecuador cruising, must be paid to the port captain on arrival (or via the agent). One should get a receipt for this payment or one will have to pay it again in the next port.

There are also immigration charges, a clearance fee and agent's fees. A charge is also made for the zarpe. Apparently some yachts have been overcharged and others have had to pay overtime, because they were leaving the harbour outside office hours, even when the formalities had been completed during office hours. This seems to be less of a problem in the ports of Puerto Lucia, Salinas and Guayaquil, where foreign yachts are more common.

Yachts should also avoid mooring in commercial harbours as yachts are charged the same rates as large ships, which are very high. There are not usually fees for anchoring in fishing harbours.

Sample Fees

Clearing in at Bahia, using Puerto Amistad as an agent, June 2014:
$50 - agent fee
$20 - immigration
$40 - taxi fee for paperwork
$45 - Capitania
Total cost - $155

In Puerto Lucia, the 2012 agents fee was approx. US$250, plus additional fees for Immigration and Customs, amounting to a total of around US$400.

From 2000 a “tasa por derechos de timbres consulares” (arrivals tax amounting to US$310) was introduced. Intended for large commercial vessels, this tax was charged to yachts by the agent in Puerto Lucia in 2011 until it was eliminated in June of that year due to uproar from the cruising fleet.

Transito Escala Tecnica (technical stop): If you have to make an emergency stop in Ecuador due to technical reasons/for repairs, an application in advance can be made via an agent which negates all fees payable, as long as the stop is no longer than 2 weeks.

Last updated June 2014.

Clearance Agents

The following agents are representing cruisers at the present time in Puerto Lucia (May 2014):

Mr Napoleon Cadena: jmpav@ecua.net.ec

Julia Yturralde NOE SHIPPING juliayde@hotmail.es.

We recommend you request quotes in advance.

Pets

Animals must be declared.

CAT requirements
- Certificate of Vaccination within 60 days before travel against panleukopenia felina and rabies.
- Have been treated externally and internally against parasites at least 30 days before embarkation.
- Have been inspected at embarkation by Veterinarian and found to be healthy, without tumours, fresh wounds or in the process of healing, without any quarantined transferable diseases or the presence of ectoparasites.
- Are placed in special cage/box cleaned out and disinfected.

DOG requirements
- Must have been vaccinated within 60 days of travel against distemper, canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, influenza and rabies (proof of dates and products used needed).
- Have been treated against parasites, externally and internally at least 30 days before travel.
- Have been inspected and identified at the moment of embarkation by official Veterinarian, and found to be in good condition, without tumours, flesh wounds or in process of healing, and without quarantined transferable diseases or presence of ectoparasites.

Further details from:
Ecuador Office, Ministeris de Turismo, Avenida Eloy Alfaro No. 32-300 and Carlos Tobar Quito, Ecuador - Tel: (2) 507 562 or 228 204/5, e-mail rvazmtour@ec-gov.net
Ecuador Office Camara Provincial de Turismos (Captur), Avenida 6 de Dicembre 1424 y Carrion Qito, Ecuador - Tel: (2) 224 074 or 509 860
www.ecuador.org
www.captur.com

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heatherreimer
heatherreimer says:
Jun 24, 2014 04:52 PM

Another great spot to leave your boat is at Bahia de Caraquez, at the mouth of the Rio Chone. Approach (from north): 00º 36.6' S 080º 28.2' W - this keeps you away from shoals
"Waiting Room": 00º 35.8' S 080º 26.8' W - anchor or wait for pilot here for entry over bar.
The anchorage is very calm, and boats are able to either get on a mooring ball (Puerto Amistad: $370/month, includes hot showers, dinghy dock, wifi, and nighttime security. The town of "Bahia" is an easily walkable village, which has a fresh fruit/vegie mercado, and several smaller tiendas for provisioning. For more major shopping, Portoviejo is an hour away ($2) and Manta is 2 hours away, ($3) and will have most everything you want. Bahia is a more affordable option for people than Salinas, due to the costs involved. As well, Salinas has quite a surge, so anchoring is more difficult. Should you wish to anchor in Bahia, the cost is $240/month, which includes all the above services. We have left our boat on anchor for months at a time, without issue. The only thing to be aware of is the barnacle growth on the chain.
Costs for arrival into Ecuador at Bahia, using Puerto Amistad as an agent.
$50 - agent fee
$20 - immigration
$40 - taxi fee for paperwork
$45 - Capitania
Total cost - $155

Should you wish to know anything else, contact Heather Reimer on sv Sundancer at heatherreimer@live.com.

Open roadstead but relatively calm at most times of year.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 13, 2014 08:35 AM

Posted on behalf of Hans-Rudolf Lehmann, SY IBIS
I have just recently arrived in Ecuador and as Ecuadorian citizen I am in the process of re-establishing myself in the country. Up to now, Ecuador has a very reduced oportunity to cruisers to stay and we are very concerned at this point to change the infrastructure for cruisers.

This is what we have achieved at this point:
1. The new city administration of Salinas has almost finished the public access to the beach in Salinas.
2. The new city administration of Salinas is very open to discuss a project for a Marina with city administration for about 48 vessels between 25 and 60 feet.
3. The new administration of Salinas in cooperation with the National office for tourism will review the procedures to document the boat for tourism and suggest the national administration a different procedure to facilitate a less expensive and more efficient way to visit the country by boating.

In the meantime we are setting 10 mooring buoys in Salinas just outside the yacht club, which can be reserved at the email lehmannhr@gmail.com at a cost of USD 15 a day, or USD 350 monthly. We also provide water service to the boat, electricity provided by 110 V generator and fuel provision to the boat. Our agent will service the boat permit with the custom office, immigration and port clearing. Communication to the e-mail lehmannhr@gmail.com
Best regards and fair winds
Hans

Hans-Rudolf Lehmann
Hans-Rudolf Lehmann says:
Sep 02, 2014 03:28 PM

This is to all cruisers who want to travel to Ecuador and not to be confused by the announcement of Marina Operations:

By Ecuadorian Law it is required to clear internalization of a boat through custom office through an agent. If the operator of the Marina says it is not required, this means he assumes the function of the agent or - in other words - he has an associated agent. Any irregularity of the ships documentation will then lead to different costs than advertized. This, is to be taken seriously as it leads to increased prices. Be aware, no hooks behind the bushes!

Global Sponsor

www.pantaenius.com

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