Singapore - Formalities
With effect from 1st April, 2016, all yachts are required to engage a licensed shipping agent to handle the paperwork on arrival and departure. The same agent must be used for both.
Whilst the new system does incur the cost of an agent (see Fees for details), it is greatly simplified as the agent will contact the Port Master and the ICA (Immigration Authorities) in advance of your arrival.
For a list of licensed agents see Clearance Agents
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
Yachts must contact their appointed Agent a recommended 72 hours prior to arrival but no later than 12 hours prior, so they can do the Arrival Application (AA) with the ICA.
The Agent will need by e-mail:
1. A copy of the boat registration
2. Copies of all the passports for crew on board
3. Last port / next port / ETA / ETD
4. Crew list (Master & crew)
5. Passenger list (if applicable)
6. Choice of quarantine clearance area - Western or Changi (see details below)
7. Destination marina in Singapore
Once the ICA have approved all your yacht/crew details, the Agent will forward the email from the ICA to you with the crew list/passenger list as well as the approval code. All the skipper needs to do is make 3 copies of each list (for arrival), and a further 2 copies of each (for departure).
Note: Once on the crew list, crew are signed on to the vessel and if they want to leave Singapore without the vessel, they need to be signed off or will be stopped by Immigration at the airport.
Signing crew on and off the yacht's crew list also requires an Agent and 6 hrs minimum notification, as does departure clearance.
SINGAPORE PORT REGULATION: AIS REQUIREMENT
It is mandatory for yachts to be equipped with Automated Identification System (AIS) prior to entry into Singapore waters. The AIS transponder must be approved for use within the port by the MPA or the Port Master. E-mail the vessel information to email@example.com at least 12 hours before entering Singapore waters.
Failure to have an AIS transponder can result in a substantial fine.
On Arrival at the Port of Singapore
Fly the "Q" flag.
All approaches are well buoyed and lit, but due to the large amount of shipping, night arrivals should be avoided.
Immigration and custom clearance can only be processed at the following 2 gazetted Immigration Anchorages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
1. Western Quarantine & Immigration Anchorage (WQIA):
Located south east of Pulau Sentosa, on the north west corner of the Sisters Islands.
Approximate Position Lat. 01° 13.0 ‘ N. Long. 103° 49.7’ E
There are two immigration boats standing by in this area.
Radio "Western Immigration" on VHF 14.
2. Changi General Purpose Anchorage (CGPA):
Located north east of the naval base, by South Angler buoy.
Approximate Position Lat 01° 20.2 ‘ N. Long. 104° 03.8 ‘ E
What to do at the Quarantine & Immigration Anchorage
Radio on VHF 14/74, call sign "ICA-Changi Airport Immigration" to notify the ICA of your arrival.
Fly numeral pendants 2 & 5 during daylight or display 2 green vertical lights at night.
A grey Immigration boat (small powerboat) will come alongside carrying a fishing net on a pole with which to transfer documents. Ideally have all your documents in a watertight plastic bag for easy transfer into the net. Have a fender or two handy in case they are needed for fending off.
There is no charge for this service. Documents to include are:
- Visas (if applicable)
- Crew list/passenger list with approval code received from Agent/ICA (3 copies)
The immigration officer will conduct a face-to-face check on all persons on the yacht so all crew must present on deck for this. Passports will be stamped and a Landing Pass valid for two weeks will then be granted (see Immigration below for more details).
If you do not clear Immigration at the anchorage, you will not be permitted entry into a marina.
For more details, view the CIQP Notice & Guide - CREW System for Pleasure Craft.
In the past it has sometimes been possible for visiting yachts staying at Raffles Marina, Keppel or Royal Singapore Yacht Club, to have the above clearance procedures taken care of at the marina for a fee. It does howevera appear that this is no longer possible at any marina in Singapore. Call your destination marina in advance to double-check before arriving in Singapore, however it is recommended to clear at one of the Quarantine and Immigration anchorages first.
AFTER CLEARING IMMIGRATION
One-Stop Document Centre (OSDC)
Note: Some marinas do offer this clearance service as well as a number of Agents.
Within 24 hrs of arrival, the skipper must report to the One-Stop Document Centre at the Maritime Port Authority to complete inward clearance. If you arrive on a weekend, simply wait until Monday to go to the One Stop Centre.
When reporting the arrival of your yacht to MPA, you are required to complete the General Declaration (GD) Forms in duplicate and submit them together with your yacht's original port clearance certificate, issued to you by the last port. You can download a copy of the General Declaration form from the MPA website: www.mpa.gov.sg.
You will be given a copy of the GD to keep. Make two copies for when you depart Singapore.
The process takes only a few minutes. You can clear in and out at the same time if your stay will be two days or less.
All foreign visiting yachts are required to pay Port Dues to MPA. Payment can only be made in cash in Singapore Currency at the MPA One-Stop Document Centre. A receipt will be given.
The One-Stop-Document-Centre charges $30 Singapore for clearance.
It is now a requirement that visiting yachts must obtain cruising permits in order to cruise within Port of Singapore waters, including moving between marinas. See "Restrictions" for more information.
Port Clearance application can be done 48 hours in advance of departure at the One-Stop-Document-Centre (or again, through your marina/agent if they offer this service), with a noon deadline on the 2nd day.
Remember to contact your appointed agent 24 hours prior to departure as well to organise clearance with the ICA.
Departing yachts must then proceed to one of the 2 arrival anchorages to clear Immigration (see above). Here you must submit the following documents:
- Passports (with retained white card portion)
- Crew list with approval code from agent/ICA (2 copies)
- Original arrival crew list endorsed by ICA on arrival (2 copies)
Customs do not usually visit yachts, but random spot checks are made from time to time.
Last updated April 2017.
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.
No visa is required for citizens of most countries. See www.ica.gov.sg for a list of countries whose citizens do require one. Note that overstaying your visa in Singapore results in strict penalities.
Visiting yacht crew are issued with a two week landing pass upon entry. If the remainder of the crew is listed as 'passengers' then they will be issued with a normal length visitor's visa (this will depend on nationality). A landing pass can no longer be renewed in person and must be done through an agent.
The initial visa is renewable for a further two weeks and it is possible to obtain extensions for up to 90 days.
For stays longer than two months Immigration may require proof why an extension is requested. A letter from a boatyard, saying that work is being carried out on the boat, is normally sufficient.
As these restrictions apply to individuals, not to the boat itself, it is sometimes easier to take the bus to neighbouring Malaysia and obtain a visitor's visa when returning to Singapore.
When checking in, ensure that your passport is stamped as
visitor not as
crew as this can cause difficulties when entering Malaysia.
Immigration may want to see proof of sufficient funds.
Immigration craft can be contacted on VHF channel 14/74.
Last updated April 2017.
Private vessels may be moored in Singapore for long periods as entry visas apply to individuals only. The captain must report to the authorities every two months.
Customs clearance is usually only required if you have items to declare.
Singapore maintains some of the toughest fire-arms laws in the World. As a result, all vessels carrying fire-arms must do the following:
- On arrival, declare all fire-arms, and any controlled weapons to the Auxiliary Police CISCO
- A CISCO officer will escort the fire-arms from your vessel, to a central depository for safe storage
- On departure, the fire-arms will be escorted back to the vessel. The vessel must then depart Singapore port
- Escort, Storage, and Permit fees apply (pls note these are not negligible)
The marina office can assist with the above on arrival.
A permit may be obtained in advance - two weeks is the minimum period necessary for obtaining a permit. Firearms will then be sealed on board. Speak with your Agent about organising a permit if necessary.
The relevant prescriptions for any prescribed medicines held on board may have to be shown to Customs. The Singapore authorities have a very strict policy regarding illegal drugs and there is a death penalty for drug trafficking.
For a list of prohibited and controlled goods see https://www.customs.gov.sg/individuals/going-through-customs/arrival/prohibited-and-controlled-goods
Last updated April 2017.
All travellers (over one year of age) who are seeking entry into Singapore are required to have a valid International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever, if they have been in or have passed through any country at risk of yellow fever within the preceding six days.
From 1 May 2016, the International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is valid for life. This lifetime validity applies to all existing and new certificates, beginning 10 days after the date of vaccination.
See here for a list of countries at risk from Yellow Fever.
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. Singapore is a region 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.
Example Agency Fees
These may differ between agents - get a quote in advance
Vessel Creation + Arrival = $50
Vessel Departure = $50
Each person on Crew list upon Arrival =$75
Sign off/Extension/sign on/approval /=$75 (per time/per passport)
Any additional trips to ICA = $75
The One-Stop-Document-Centre charges 30 SIN$ for clearance.
The officials do not work outside working hours, so there is no overtime fee.
All foreign visiting yachts are required to pay Port Dues to MPA (nominal harbour and light dues calculated per GRT). Payment can only be made in cash in Singapore Currency at the MPA One-Stop Document Centre. A receipt will be given.
Last updated April 2017.
Some areas of the harbour, which are marked on the charts, are prohibited either for anchoring or for passing through - for example there is a height restriction of 45 ft (15 m) in the area close to the airport.
In July 2007, MPA introduced the cruising permit to allow visiting pleasure yachts to cruise within the port limits of Singapore, including moving between marinas. To qualify for the cruising permit, the yacht must be fitted with an IMO AIS transponder.
Since June 2010 the cruising permit can be applied for through the marinet system using the online application, “VISITING YACHT CRUISING PERMIT APPLICATION SYSTEM”.
The application can be submitted through the various marinas at least 2 hours before the commencement of any recreational activities or movements within the port.
Note: Certain Agents may offer this service.
Please also note that craft are not allowed to use sails when moving in Singapore waters.
Port of Singapore Website: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home
Last updated April 2017.
The Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) is applicable in Singapore and requires all pets to have a Pet Passport, a current Health Certificate and current Rabies Vaccination Certificate (valid within not less than 30 days and not more than 1 year).
All cats and dogs must be identified with an ISO compliant pet microchip.
If entering Singapore from Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland or United Kingdom, a rabies vaccination is not required however other vaccinations will be applicable.
A period of quarantine is required if arriving from some countries.
For full details see http://www.ava.gov.sg
Last updated April 2017.