Papua New Guinea - Formalities
All vessels are required to give notice of impending arrival to Customs, Quarantine and Immigration no later than 48 hours before arrival.
The following details will be required:-
- the name of the yacht;
- your intended first port of arrival;
- your estimated arrival time;
- your last four ports of call;
- the details of people on board including name, date of birth, nationality, and passport number, details of any illness or disease recently encountered;
- if you have any animals on board;
- if you have any firearms on board.
On arrival, clearly display the Q-flag on entering PNG waters and go directly to an appointed boarding station. Clearance must be completed before going ashore. No persons other than a Quarantine or Customs officer is allowed to board, nor can any person, animal or article leave the boat until full clearance has been granted.
Depending on your arrival time, Customs and Quarantine may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day. Contact with other vessels in port before clearance is also prohibited.
A cruising permit will be issued with the same time limit as the skipper's visa. If the skipper wishes to leave PNG and then return, prior approval must be obtained from Customs.
During your Stay
It is necessary to clear in and out of every port throughout Papua New Guinea and failure to do so can create serious problems. Officials prefer an email informing them of your arrival to a port 48 hours in advance. In many places this will speed up formalities.
Before departure from Papua New Guinea, Customs and Immigration clearance is required. This is available at any Customs port. Customs should be contacted in advance to avoid unnecessary delay.
It is an offence to depart without clearance.
See PNG Customs website for more information.
Last updated May 2016.
All visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months.
Visas on Arrival:
Visas on arrival are now issued to the nationals of a range of countries which include the EU and most other northern European countries, Canada, USA, New Zealand (but not Australia) and many countries in SE Asia. See the complete list at www.immigration.gov.pg
These visas are aimed mainly at visitors arriving by air, but it seems that such entry permits can also be issued to sailors (yachts persons). "For those arriving by yacht, application can be made at PNGICSA or at the designated international port of entry." This means Port Moresby, Rabaul or Daru. It is necessary to present the Ship's papers, the logbook identifying the crew and have completed the Customs declaration.
Visas granted on arrival are FREE and valid for 30 days.
Visa in Advance:
Other nationals must have an entry permit or a visa. Sixty day visas can be obtained in advance.
There is a PNG Embassy in Honiara where a visa takes 5 working days to obtain. There are also PNG diplomatic missions in Cains, Canberra, Brisbane, Suva, Vila, Honiara, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Wellington, Manila, Washington, Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.
Visa extensions can be lengthy and complicated. In order to obtain a visa extension of 30 days, passports have to be sent to Port Moresby. It is recommended to send passports by courier. Proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in PNG may be necessary, otherwise an immigration landing bond of about US$1000 (which is refundable) is required.
Occasionally passports have been reported lost, but they have invariably turned up later. Even if an extension has not been granted, people have been allowed to stay while the search for the missing passports is in progress.
Last updated November 2016.
Firearms, including flareguns, are either detained until departure, or sealed on board. A week's notice of departure is required is firearms have to be returned.
Prescribed medicines containing narcotics must be declared. One must have a prescription stating that these are necessary and being used under a doctor's direction. The medicines should be kept in the original containers.
A cruise permit may be issued to the Master of the craft if Customs is satisfied the craft is transiting Papua New Guinea for non-commercial purposes. Cruise permits may be issued for the length of the Master's visa. Extension of the permit may be granted on application, provided you have an appropriate visa.
If your visa allows you to reside in Papua New Guinea for a limited period you may be required to temporarily import a craft into Papua New Guinea. Temporary importation without paying Customs duty and tax is subject to: the vessel being exported within 12 months of arrival and a security in cash or an appropriate bank guarantee being provided equal to the duty and tax that would otherwise be payable. More information on the Customs website.
Prohibited exports are: bird of paradise plumes, artefacts dated pre-1960 and stone objects, except stone axes.
Currency amounting to K5000 or more (or the equivalent in foreign currency, excluding traveller's cheques), must be declared on arrival and departure. Reporting is required by law and failure to do so is an offence.
All garbage must remain sealed on board.
The galley stores may be inspected and suspect food destroyed (at your expense).
If you have an animal on board you must remain at a mid-water mooring or anchorage and keep the animal secure for the duration of your stay in Papua New Guinea.
To help keep marine pests out of Papua New Guinea before you leave your last port we ask that you voluntarily adopt a bio protection strategy by:-
Keeping all ancillary gear and internal seawater systems clean of marine pests and growths.
Cleaning your vessels' hull where possible before arrival or apply antifouling paint within one year before arrival.
There is a charge for quarantine inspection.
Last updated November 2016.
This is a high-risk malaria area, where the disease has become resistant to many of the anti-malarial drugs in use. Advice should be taken as to the most suitable anti-malarial prevention to be followed.
Cruisers based in PNG advise the following (May 2013):
You can purchase Malcurra over the counter for malaria treatment. Malcurra is Artesunate, which is an excellent and cheap treatment to have in your first aid kit in the event that you get malaria. Fansidar is also available over the counter, and taking Fansidar after the course of Artesunate will kick the parasites right out of your system.
Cruisers with children on board visiting 2015 recommend:
If you wish to take medications, doxycyclone for adults is available in many places but not Larium (or anything else) for kids. We got a prescription from a hospital doctor in Suva, Fiji. I thought we could get a repeat in Indonesia but it has proved impossible. We were kindly given some malaria tester kits that you can buy online by another 'kid boat'. We also brought treatment meds in Kavieng that were recommended by the guys at Nusa Resort. The pharmacist was great as she made up little kits for each member of the family with the correct doses for each person. So, we try to avoid being bitten by using deet lotion (called "Autan" in Papua and Maluku), long sleeves and trousers in the evening, trying to be back on board before dusk and mossie nets.
This continues to be reported throughout Papua New Guinea. Outbreaks in the National Capital District (Port Moresby) and the Central province have been confirmed.
There is also a dengue fever risk.
Tuberculosis is endemic, dengue fever occurs frequently and there are occasional outbreaks of Hepatitis A and typhoid. AIDS/HIV is a growing problem.
ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (September 2016) There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Papua New Guinea is an area of interest. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.
There are no fees for clearing into PNG, except for Quarantine. It has been reported that some Customs officers (particularly in Alotau) may try to charge, but officially there is no fee so stand firm.
Head of Customs in Alotau - Eric Awamaki (emai - firstname.lastname@example.org) should be contacted if any problems are encountered.
There are no fees for visa on arrival.
A departure tax may be charged per crew member.
Overtime is payable for clearance after 1600 Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Visa extensions (Oct 2013) cost 600 kina for the captain and 400 kina for crew.
Last updated March 2015.
Protection of the environment is taken very seriously and every precaution applied to preserve the flora and fauna of the country.
Don't throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard. Use designated quarantine disposal points. Keep all food and animals secure until Quarantine officers have inspected your vessel. Do not trade foodstuffs with other overseas vessels. Keep your vessel free of insects. Clean your vessels' hull where possible before arrival (or apply antifouling paint within one year before arrival) and keeping all ancillary gear and internal seawater systems clean of marine pests and growths.
Animals must remain on board at all times.