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 Arival 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 4 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 Singppore 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 mininum notification, as does departure clearance.
All vessels are required to have an AIS transponder that is approved for use within the port by the MPA or the Port Master. Address any queries to Lee Cheng Wee at email@example.com
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: 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
Radio "Western Immigration" on VHF 74.
2. Changi General Purpose Anchorage: 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 anchorage
Radio on VHF 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 will come alongside and you need to pass your documents to them via a net. There is no charge for this service. All crew must be present for a face to face check. Documents to include:
- Visas (if applicable)
- Crew list/passenger list with approval code received from Agent/ICA (4 copies)
If you do not clear Immigration at the anchorage, you will not be permitted entry into a marina.
AFTER CLEARING IMMIGRATION
One-Stop Document Centre (OSDC)
Note: Some marinas do offer this clearance service and a number of agents are also planning to do the same in the near future.
Within 48 hrs of arrival, the skipper must report to the One-Stop Document Centre at the Maritime Port Authority to complete inward clearance. We have been informed that some Agents will be offering this service as well from 1 June, 2016.
The previous Port Clearance Certificate, together with 2 copies of the General Declaration (GD) form (obtained from the OSDC) are required. A copy of the GD form and a GDV no. will be issued.
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.
Your clearance out can be done two days in advance, with a noon deadline on the 2nd day. If you arrive on a weekend, simply wait until Monday to go to the One Stop Centre.
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).
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.
Note: Raffles Marina no longer offer a clearance service.
Last updated May 2016.
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.
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. A yacht can extend its stay for a maximum of 6 months, at the end of which time it must leave Singapore for one month before returning.
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 74.
Last updated May 2015.
Firearms, including spear guns, need an import permit from the Marine Police. Customs clearance is usually only required if you have items to declare.
The permit must be obtained in advance - two weeks is the minimum period necessary for obtaining a permit. Firearms will then be sealed on board. Yachts arriving without a permit will, after declaring their firearms to Customs, have to return to the boat with the Marine Police who will escort them to the armoury by taxi to deposit the firearms. On departure, they will be escorted back to the yacht with the firearms, for which a fee will be charged.
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.
Yachts can remain indefinitely, but the captain must report to the authorities every two months.
Last updated May 2015.
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.
Nominal harbour and light dues are calculated per GRT.
Last updated May 2016.
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.
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. This can be applied for via the MPA website. Registration is first required on the MARINET system, before the application can be completed.
Port of Singapore Website: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home
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 have reported that they will be offering this service from 1 June, 2016.
Please also note that craft are not allowed to use sails when moving in Singapore waters.
Last updated May 2016.
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 and are to be microchipped by recognised Veterinarian. A period of quarantine is required if arriving from some countries.