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By No owner — last modified Sep 17, 2012 04:49 AM

 Georgia - Formalities

Clearance

Formalities must be completed at a Port of Entry.

At 12 miles off, call the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16. If no reply, call Port Control at 6 miles and reguest entry. Call again at the harbour entrance when the yacht will be advised on where to berth.

Officials are efficient and all will visit the yacht.

On departure from a port, yachts must check-out of the country and clear in again at the next Georgia port. This is done with Port Control: VHF Ch. 16.

Currently there are no clearance charges.

The Georgian Coast Guard does not permit foreign vessels to enter Georgian waters after visiting the disputed region of Abkhazia. Patrol boats may escort any offending yachts away from the coast.

Russia does not permit foreign yachts to visit after having been to Georgia. But yachts that have visited Russia may visit Georgia. Consider this order when cruising this area.

It is advisable to cross the border into Georgia in international waters (i.e., at least 12 miles off-shore). In the past it has been rumored that a yacht was confiscated because it crossed close to the coast (though proof of this is unknown).

Last updated November 2017.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for 6 months on entry.

Citizen of the following countries do not need a visa for visits of up to 3 months:- EU countries, the USA, Canada, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland,  Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, South Korea and former Russian Federation nations (except Russia).

If a visa is required, it is advisable to obtain one in advance as visas on arrival are normally only issued at certain airports.

Visas can easily be obtained at the Georgian Consulate in Istanbul or Trabzon. Otherwise, tour operators can obtain visas, for a fee.

Last updated November 2017.

Customs

A detailed Customs declaration must be completed on arrival, where foreign currency and valuables must be indicated.

All prescription medicines must be accompanied by a doctor's note and also be declared. Possession of these items, even with a doctor’s prescription could, if not declared, or if the quantity held exceeds legal limits, lead to administrative or even criminal proceedings. Check legal quantities of medicines before you travel with the Georgian Embassy London.

Firearms must also be declared.

Last updated November 2017.

Health

Water is safe to drink; however some visitors report mildly upset stomachs due to the different treatment process (higher chlorine content).

Venomous snakes are common, particularly in early summer.

Medical facilities in Tbilisi are available, but can be expensive. Outside Tbilisi medical facilities are limited except in the larger cities.

Documents

Carry a copy of your passport at all times.

Restrictions

Do not photograph sensitive sites like military bases and power installations.

If you visit the Udabno caves at the Davit Gareja monastery site, take care not to cross the Georgia-Azerbaijan border, which is unmarked in this area.

A special permit is required to visit the Samoukhi area near the Azerbijani border, which is a traditional grazing area for shepherds.

The areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia require special permits from the respective provisional governments in those areas. Yachts must not visit Abkhazia without this permit and may not be allowed back into Georgia after visiting. The information for this process may be found at the Republic of Abkhazia website.

Some areas of the Russian border with Georgia are in dispute.

Firearms must be declared. Some ethnic groups in Georgia are not permitted to possess firearms.

Local Customs

Be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing churches and other religious sites.

Conservative attitudes exist in rural areas. You should dress and behave modestly in these areas and avoid open displays of affection.

Homosexuality is still a taboo in some of the less urban areas. Even in the cities, though, it is a hotly debated topic and only recently has homosexuality been decriminalized.

Pets

Even though pets must have a health statement from a vet, the vet at the port of entry may want to examine your pet. Any apparent health issues (or a lack of vaccine documentation) may result in quarantine.

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