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By No owner — last modified Mar 18, 2015 01:14 PM

 Fiji - Formalities


On arrival in Fiji waters, fly the 'Q' flag.

On approach, contact Port Control on VHF Channel 16 to request entry into port.

It is advisable to time your entry for during the working day and not at weekends, otherwise the fees can be quite expensive (see further details under clearance and Fees below).

Skipper and crew must remain on board until clearance is completed.

Prior Notification of Arrival - NEW Procedure July 2013

Yachts arriving from overseas now only complete the revised Advance Notice Form C2-C (this is much longer and comprehensive than the old one). The previous requirement to also complete and email the Biosecurity, Customs and Health forms no longer applies. Just the one form C2-C suffices. Download it here.

This revised Form C2-C must be emailed or faxed to the Fijian authorities not less than 48 hours prior to arrival. It is also necessary to attach a scanned photo of your boat and also a copy of the Captain’s passport. You send these 2 pictures, along with a scanned copy of your completed Form C2-C. This is NEW requirement.

On arrival, it will be necessary to complete the forms for Biosecurity, Health, Quarantine and Customs. The fees for Biosecurity and Health fees have recently increased considerably. See Fees below.

The forms and pictures can be emailed or faxed to the Customs office at or faxed (679) 330 2929 or 3301186. Alternatively, phone (679) 324 3000.

Cruisers have reported that when they asked for it, e-mail confirmation of receipt was sent by Customs.

The penalties for failure to comply may be a fine in the order of F$20,000 and/or 2 years imprisonment.

Not having access to the internet does not appear to be accepted as an excuse. Even being forced to stop in Fiji due to sail and engine problems will invite a thorough inspection and difficulties in obtaining a cruising licence.


For vessels arriving from Healthy Ports (free of Malaria, Yellow Fever or any other dangerous communicable diseases), Radio Pratique (approval to berth alongside) may be requested, however, the Health Quarantine officers may still board your vessel for inspection.

Fiji is currently free of Malaria; and would like to keep it that way. Therefore, if you are travelling from or through any of the ports that have been identified as Malarial Areas (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia (north of the latitude of Brisbane), Panama Canal, the East Indies, Asia, or any port or place in which malaria carrying mosquitoes are present.) within the last 50 days, this information must be declared on your pre-arrival form. The Health Quarantine department will need to carry out an on board inspection and if arriving within 12 days, your vessel will need to be sprayed.

There is a fee applicable for inspection and/or spraying which is dependent upon the size of the vessel.

Clearance Procedures

On approach, call Port Control on VHF Ch.16 to request permission to enter the port, and proceed directly to the designated quarantine area indicated on the chart. Fly the international Q flag and await instructions or arrival of the correct authorities. Apart from pratique, Customs, Immigration or Quarantine officers, no one should be allowed to board the vessel, nor any person or article leave the vessel until all clearances are granted.

Working hours for clearance are from Monday to Thursday 08:00-13:00, 14:00- 16:30; Friday 08:30-13:00, 14:00-16:00. Overtime charges will need to be paid outside of these hours. Documents required are: Clearance certificate from the previous port or country; Crew list with details of passport numbers, nationality and age; Valid passports.

Weekend Arrival: Remember, if you arrive at the weekend you may well be obliged to clear in at the weekend which incurs substantial overtime charges (See Fees below).

This should be the first official to clear the vessel. The captain will be instructed to await the arrival of the BAF boat or to proceed directly to the wharf and await the BAF officer's arrival. The BAF levy a fee for this clearance which must be paid at the Divisional Medical Officer's office. The captain should inform the authorities if there are any prohibited items aboard.

Foreign vessels are requested to declare on arrival the following:

  • Foods (tinned/packed), including meat, sausages, salami, ham, poultry, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, honey etc;
  • Plants or parts of plants (live or dead) including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, bulbs, flowers (fresh or dry), mushrooms, straw, bamboo or any other articles made of plant materials;
  • Animal products including feathers, fur/skin, shells, hatching eggs.
  • Animals, reptiles, fish, birds (or parts thereof), alive or dead, stuffed or mounted;
  • Soil or equipment used with animals of any kind or that has come in contact with soil;
  • Biological specimens including vaccine cultures, blood or any other biological specimen; and
  • Domesticated pets to be bonded and kept on board the vessel at all times (cats/dogs/birds etc).

Some items will not be permitted to be kept aboard the yacht for the duration of the visit in Fiji. What is allowed to stay aboard will be at the discretion of the BAF officer at the time of inspection.

Everyone needs permission from a Customs/Immigration officer before they disembark. Port Control should be asked to send out an Immigration officer, but if he does not meet the yacht on arrival, a message should be sent via the Customs officer repeating this request. The Immigration Department may expect to be reimbursed for the taxi fare to get the officer to the wharf and back.

If you wish to cruise in Fiji Waters, in addition to the Customs clearance you must also obtain a clearance at any port from the Coconut Pest and Diseases Board. Certain Islands and places in Fiji are free of rhinoceros beetle and you may be proceeding from a dirty area to an uninfested area.

Cruisers report that there are copious forms to fill out in duplicate using carbon paper.

Cruising the Islands:
The necessary cruising permit to visit the islands is issued, on request, at the iTAUKEI AFFAIRS BOARD (Indigenous Affairs Board - TAB) office at 87 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Government Buildings, Suva, or at the the Commissioner Western's office in Lautoka, the Commissioner Eastern's office in Levuka, or the Provincial Office in Savusavu.

Cruising Permits are issued free of charge for all areas of Fiji and now automatically includes the Lau Group. Permits are issued promptly, often "while you wait". It consists of a one-page letter, entirely in Fijian, and is valid for a period of up to six months. Unless you can read Fijian you will not know what the permit says, or when the permit expires, so it is important to clarify this: clearance will not be given once it has expired. An English version may not be available.

As from 14/06/2012 it is no longer necessary to clear in and out of each Customs region visited, (Suva: Levuka: Savusavu: Lautoka: Lau Group: Rotuma:). Public Circular 2/2102 (14/6/12) now provides for yachts to clear out of the port of entry with a permit to cruise all Fijian coastal waters within the bounds of their cruising permit. This means you are free to cruise as you like until it is time to leave Fiji.

There is a requirement to report your position and current cruising plans once a week. This can easily be done by:
- VHF Ch:16
- Telephone: 324 3782/3747/3315 / Fax no.: as for Customs
- Customs Hotline: 324 3666
- E-mail:

Clearing Out:
Boats leaving Fiji must clear Customs on departure. Customs recommend 24 hours notice of departure. Clearance will not be granted unless all port and quarantine fees have been paid, so receipts for all these should be kept. Boats must leave within 24 hours of having cleared customs. There is a departure tax of F$20.

Immigration is the final authority to clear the yacht out of Fijian waters. An appointment should be made in advance of departure advising where the boat is. Immigration insist that boats depart immediately on receiving clearance. It is prohibited to stop at any island once cleared out.

Fiji has a formidable bureaucracy which is slowly loosening up. While officials are honest and polite, meeting the demands of the state takes time and lots of paper. Go with the flow as you cannot avoid it!

Last updated June 2014.

Lautoka Quarantine Office
Tel:+679 666 5984
Suva Quarantine Office
Tel:+679 331 2512


Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.

A visa-free stay for up to four months (provided one has enough funds or an outward ticket) is allowed for United Kingdom, United States, Canada and most European nationals. Visas are required by only a few nationalities. After four months, an extension may be obtained for an additional two months. This costs $96. Apply at least 7 days prior to expiry of original visa.

Crew flying into Fiji to join a yacht, must have a letter of approval from the Immigration Department prior to their flight departure.

As of January 2009 yachts can stay in Fiji for maximum period of 18 months. There is no extension to this period.

See Fiji Customs and Immigration document for more details.

Last updated June 2014.

Apply here if a visa is required.


Visiting yachts are reminded that the Fijian authorities are strongly against drugs, pornography and weapons.

All weapons on board must be declared and handed over to the authorities for the duration of your stay, otherwise you risk a prison sentence. They are normally held in the custody of a partucular person and at least 24 hours' notice of departure must be given. If the required office is not available, there might be a delay. Weapons will be returned immediately before departure from Fiji.

If one enters at one port and exits at another, the guns may have to be transferred to the port of departure by the police.

The import limits for duty free alcohol are the same for any visitor to Fiji. Fiji no longer "seals" or "bonds" alcohol, for you to consume later. Simply, anything on board exceeding 4 litres of beer, or 4 litres of wine (2 of spirits) will be charged import duty.

Import duty (if payable) greatly exceeds the actual cost of the beer/wine/spirits and therefore it is advisable to drink up before arriving in Fiji and purchase the local beer and wine. Spirits are expensive here.

Whilst these are the official rules, cruisers report that they are rarely policed, especially in Savusavu.

The tobacco allowance is now lowered to only 250 grams from 500 grams. The duties on bringing in extra personal tobacco is incredibly expensive.

From January 2009, yachts may now remain for a maximum of 18 months without paying any duty. There is no extension.

After that the rate of duty is due based on the value of the boat. The details of this have yet to be announced. Yachts may be sailed out of Fiji and if the same yacht re-enters Fiji within 18 months then the yacht may qualify for another period of 18 months.

An itinerary of places and dates where one is planning to cruise until departure from Fiji is required for customs clearance.

To cruise the outer islands, a Customs Cruising Permit must be filed as well as obtaining a Cruising Permit for the islands. This can be obtained from The Ministry of Fijjian Affairs at 61 Carnavon Street, Suva, or from the Commissioner's Office in Lautoka, Levuka or Labasa. The advice of a yachting agent is advisable if you wish to visit the Lau group.

Last updated June 2014.

Suva Customs Office
Tel:+679 324 3000


Fiji has a very high numbers of dengue cases. It is important to take precautions against mosquitoe bites.

Since January 2007 following flash floods on Vanua Levu there have also been some cases of typhoid fever and leptospirosis. There have been reported cases of typhoid and leptospirosis also in the Greater Suva area.

Travellers should take the usual precautions and check the latest travel advisories before visiting affected areas.


Vessels intending to visit any port, island or anchorage outside of Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu or Levuka need to obtain a cruising permit from customs as well as permission to cruise the islands. This permit acts as a letter of introduction to the "Turaga ni Koro" (the village head), the "Buli" (head of the provincial subdivision), or the "Roko Tui" (provincial head).

Cruising permits can be obtained from the Indigenous Affairs Board (TAB) office at 87 Queen Elizabeth Drive – Government Buildings, Suva, or at the the Commissioner Western's office in Lautoka, the Commissioner Eastern's office in Levuka, or the Provincial Office in Savusavu. Fijian customs and laws are strong and have to be respected. These will be explained by the Department when the permit is given. There is now no charge for the permit. (2011)

Lau Group
This group of islands are now automatically included in the cruising permit.

Once the permit is approved, you will get a letter with an explanation and permit in the local language for each island you requested to visit. Also you will be given a set of rules and regulations which you must follow whilst in the Lau group.

The above does not apply to superyachts and cruise ships.

These conditions will be reviewed from time to time.


Cruising Permit: No charge.

Immigration: No charge unless a visa is required (although there will be an overtime fee charged if arriving out of hours or at the weekend).

Customs: No charge except outside office hours. Then overtime will be charged on weekdays after 16:30, FI$16.50 per hour; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, FI$25 per hour. After 20:00 to 06:00 weekdays, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, there is a three hour minimum charge of FI$95.

It is advisable to time your entry for during the working day and not at weekends, otherwise the fees can be quite expensive.

Bio-security Clearance: FI$89 (includes incineration fee to Agriculture for disposal of prohibited food). The full fee, which increased substantially in 2012, is still payable by overseas arriving vessels, even if you have nothing to dispose of. Out of hours the overtime fee is FI$182.

Health Clearance: FI$175.50, out of hours FI$228.

The Ports Authority of Fiji levies a fee applicable to all vessels entering any of the ports of Suva, Lautoka, Savusavu and Levuka. Vessels up to 100 tonnes pay a maximum of $F14.45. It seems that currently this fee is only being charged by the Port Authority in Suva.

Some villages in the Lau Group may levy an anchoring charge, but infomation from Jone Drugunalevu ( says
"There is no anchorage fee charged by any village being legislated by the Surfing Decree and Super yacht Decree."

On departure, a Port Authority fee of about FJ 14.45 is ONLY payable if yachts have berthed on an official dock (most unlikely in either Suva or Lutoka). No other Port Authority fee is required for private yachts.

Last updated May 2014.


Garbage should be put in sealed plastic bags and handed over to be disposed into the port incinerator. Garbage should not be discharged without the permission of the quarantine officer.

In order to visit the rare Crested Iguana sanctuary on the island of Yandua Taba, you must get a permit in advance from the National Trust office in Suva. Their local phone number is 3301807. The park ranger, Pita Biuloa, can be contacted on his local cell phone - 8207358. The visit is very worthwhile and Pita is a friendly, knowledgable host (2008).

Fishing rights are strictly allocated to the various villages and permission should be obtained before attempting to catch any, and then only take sufficient for your immediate needs.

Local Customs

Customs to be Observed by Visitors

In the more remote areas, understanding and following Fiji’s customs is strongly advised. A visitor who ignores these customs will feel less welcome, and your hosts will be offended. Indeed they will sometimes express this with anger, and they will be less willing to help should you need their help.

Local etiquette should be observed and it is expected that a courtesy visit to the chief or headman of the island or village bearing a gift of yagona (kava) is made on arrival or landing and permission asked to anchor.

It is useful to have a good supply of kava on board, which can be obtained from Suva market. The normal gift is about half a kilogramme of kava root.

Dress is conservative, and is is not appropriate for women to wear swimwear, trousers or shorts when visiting a village or house. Everyone should be covered from shoulder to knee and neither hats nor sunglasses should be worn in the village. Bags and cameras shold be carried in the hand, not slung over a shoulder.

Fishing rights are strictly allocated to the various villages and permission should be obtained before attempting to catch any, and then only take sufficient for your immediate needs.

Gifts of alcohol are considered discourteous, and its consumption is discouraged.


Yachts arriving in Fiji with live cats, dogs, pet birds etc. on board must pay a bond as security against the "pet" coming ashore while in Fiji’s territorial waters. The bond payment is $FJD $1,500 (approx. US$800) which is refundable upon departure from Fiji if bond conditions are not breached (i.e. you are not caught with your animal ashore).

Read this 2014 report about a couple whose on-board cat went missing, and the problems they encountered with Fiji Bio-Security.

The bond must be paid in cash at the BioSecurity office, and in order to get a refund you must apply a week before departure (again, paid in cash).

In general no animals will be permitted to come ashore in Fiji and must remain on board the vessel at all times while in Fiji’s territorial waters.

Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies not more than 12 and not less than 6 months before arriving in Fiji. One month after the rabies vaccination of the dog, it must be subjected to the Rabies Neutralization Antibody Tire Test (RNATT) with a positive result of no less than 0.5 IU per ml.

Pet birds (e.g. parrots, finches, canaries etc) on yachts must be free Newcastle Disease without vaccination, must have been tested free of Newcastle Disease six (6) months prior to arrival in Fiji, must not have been in the waters of countries not free of Newcastle Disease without vaccination less than six (6) months prior to arrival in Fiji. Pet birds must be in locked cages at all times, and the animal must not be brought on shore at any time.

Vaccination certificates and laboratory tests results must be original and made available to Biosecurity Officers when Biosecurity Boarding Inspection are carried out at the First (1ST) Port of Entry.

For further information or clarification please contact the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji on phone 3312512, fax 3305043 or email . Enquires can also be made in person at any of the BAF office.

Last updated October 2012.

Share |
jaramanpotter says:
Mar 25, 2014 08:48 PM

Take care with yachting service providers. Yacht Help were unhelpful and incompetent over a range of jobs. Marshall Sails did poor work.

Sara Dépagneux
Sara Dépagneux says:
Apr 27, 2014 11:41 PM

Hello everyone, be careful about the 24 hours you have to cleare when you arrived in fijis waters. We arrived a Sunday and they obliged us to clear on sunday and to pay the additional fees. As we were not able to provide them an official source immigration obliged us to check in.
FYI; Bio security normal price 89 FJD, on WE 182 FJD - Health normal price 173 FJD, on WE 228 FJD - immigration we still trying to negociate as they forced us to clear in a sunday

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 12, 2014 12:22 PM

Sara (above) cleared in at Savusavu. They did in fact complain to Customs about the fact that they obliged them to clear in on a Sunday and pay the additional fees. After few hours of argument they managed to get their money back from Customs, but no reimbursement from biosecurity or health.

Sailboatuser says:
Dec 27, 2014 04:06 AM

We were very happy with Baobab Marine in Vuda Point in Sep. 2014. Excellent work with hull sanding, antifouling, cutlass bearing replacement, shaft alignment. We were constantly in contact with the managers, and workers were cheerful and responsible.

wildfox says:
Mar 15, 2015 03:37 AM

I support the positive comments on Baobab Marine who were helpful and on time. Nice people to work with; just do not expect them to be world experts on electronics and the like and you will be OK with them.

The staff at the marina were wonderful; the bar a great place to meet for sundowners.

All in all I highly recommend Vudu as a place to call in, get work done or to clear.

Anthony sv Wild Fox

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