Israel - Formalities
The procedure to enter Israel is as follows:-
At least 48 hours, preferably more, before departure, email firstname.lastname@example.org stating your routing, timing and crew list and ask them to e-mail you back the form ‘YACHT-IMOT’.
Fill it in (it is a standard Word document) and send it back. This completed IMOT will contain information about your previous ports of call, crew list, yacht description and call sign. Your IMOT will be circulated to Israeli Navy on shore and at sea and all the answers you give tested against those on the IMOT, so it will be worth keeping a copy of what you sent them.
A question not on the IMOT but a pre-emptive answer worth adding is ‘There are no weapons on board.’ If you have a referee in Israel it is worth adding the details, but warn your contact first as they could be contacted at any time, day or night!
When about 20 miles from the coast, you are likely to be contacted by the Israeli Navy. If no contact is made, the Navy will make further attempts at contact and visual identification is also common so do no be alarmed if approached by a navy vessel.
All marinas monitor Channel 16, but use different working channels: 11 at Herzliya, Ashkelon and Eilat, 10 at Tel Aviv, and 9 at Ashdod (The Blue Marina). Channel 16 must be monitored permanently.
On approaching the coast yachts may be met by an armed patrol boat and asked for details of the yacht and crew. Sometimes the yacht is boarded for inspection while still offshore. On arrival yachts are met by customs and immigration. The yacht may be searched for arms or explosives.
No yacht may proceed from Israel to Lebanon.
It is advisable to reach the Israeli coasts and marinas during daylight hours. Herzlyia and Tel-Aviv Border Control only operates during weekday working hours (09:00-16:00).
Last updated August 2012.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of expected departure.
Nationals of the following countries do not require visas, or will have them issued free of charge on arrival: The European Union, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Korea South, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, St Kitts & Nevis Surinam, Swaziland, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu.
Other nationalities must apply for visas in advance, and pay a fee.
Normally a three month stay is granted on arrival. After three months, one can apply for a visa or extension of a visa at a Ministry of the Interior office. This extension is usually for a further three months.
As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L including your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit.
The form 17L will not be collected upon exit as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.
However, if applying for an extension after the initial three months, this will automatically be stamped in the passport.
Last updated July 2013.
Firearms must be declared.
The import of fresh meat, bananas and pineapples. Fruits and vegetables from the African continent and especially from South Africa, is prohibitied.
Approval by customs is required to take the following items into Israel: flowers, plants and seeds, prescription drugs, all animals, mobile phones including built-in computer modems, knives or penknives not intended for professional or household use.
Last updated July 2013.
Typhoid and polio vaccinations are recommended.
This must be applied for within 30 days of arrival.
Overtime is payable on weekends and public holidays. Harbour fees are calculated on length. There are light fees.
There are several areas prohibited to yachts. Information on these areas is obtainable from chart suppliers and is drawn on Navy charts, which are available in every marina.
In areas where there is a concentration of orthodox jews, it is considered a violation of Shabbat (Sabbath, on Saturday) to smoke on that day. There is usually a sign to remind the visitor of this, and to disregard the warning would be regarded as discourteous. In most areas of the country, there is no restriction other than the usual non-smoking in public buildings, and that applies every day.
Dogs, cats and birds need a veterinary health certificate issued in the country of origin. Dogs over three months old need a rabies vaccination certificate issued between one year and one month before arrival.
If the yacht carries more than two of any of these animals and other species of animal, an import permit issued by the Director of Veterinary Services is required. A written application must be received not less than 10 days before the planned arrival of such animals.
Details of every import of animals must be notified to Ramla Quarantine Station at least 48 hours prior to arrival to Israel (Fax 972-8-9229906) Details to include owner, animal species, age, flight number and approximate time of arrival. Animals arriving in good health and correctly certified will generally not be quarantined.
Dogs and cats younger than 3 months will not be admitted.
Unaccompanied animals, or such which require an Import Permit, will require Quarantined in an official quarantine station for a period of 8 days or as decided by the Director.