Taiwan - Formalities
Note: You will definitely be refused entry if coming from China (apart from Hong Kong or Macau) as it is not legal to come from a port in mainland China.
No other harbour apart from a Port of Entry can be visited before clearing into the country.
At all Ports of Entry, the Port Authority should be contacted on VHF Channel 16 before entering the harbour. When approaching the port, contact Port Authority (official callsign "Kaohsiung VTS", but responds to other meaningful callsigns as well) well in advance (10nm).
Then proceed to Coast Guard check point.
Health Department (Disease Control) should also be visited upon arrival.
Customs generally ignore yachts. Nor is it necessary to visit the Harbour Master.
The MTNet (Maritime Transport Network Portal) should be used whenever entering or leaving a Port of Entry). Allow at least 2 weeks before your first arrival in the country for processing the initial documents. See Documents for the details.
It may be necessary to use a shipping agent to process the Entry Permit application or to obtain the help of a local contact.
A helpful contact is:
Mr. Ting Kuo (email@example.com)
Tel: 886 918-053005
If wishing to visit Ken-ting marina on the southern side of the island,
Nelson Lui (firstname.lastname@example.org) can help with the proceedure.
In Taipei useful contacts are:-
Mr. Chung Ming-Hua, +886910132343, email@example.com (speaks only Chinese, but will be able to respond in English to an email)
If visiting the south,
Mr. Peter Pan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tel: 886 918-053005
Also, the Americam Board of Trade in Tapei may be able to help.
Visiting non Ports of Entry
Other small harbours (usually called "fishing harbours") can be visited. This used to be a quite a hassle, which involved bit of paper work (all in Chinese).
Since 2006, many harbours are accessible simply via MTNet. Sometimes you might be asked to fill additional form (Project of Yacht Navigation). These "open" fishing harbours (FH) include: Kaohsiung Gushan and Qijin FH, Keelung Badouzi FH (a.k.a. Bisha FH), Xinzhu FH, Tainan Anping FH, Tainan County Jiangjun FH, Kaohsiung County Xingda FH, Taidong County Xingang and Jinzun FH, Penghu has 11 FH (Qimei, Jibei, ...), Longdong, Houbihu.
For day sailing, you need to fill a form Project of Yacht Navigation).
It should be delivered (hard copy or by fax) to your nearest coast guard station before your departure. The coast guard might come to your berth, but usually you will have to stop at the check-point.
Please check with your local contact. There is an online form for this, but it is only in Chinese, you need to create an account, so the paper form seems more practical.
Last updated April 2014.
Passports must be valid for more than six months.
All nationalities must obtain a visa before arrival from a Republic of China embassy, consulate or trade mission abroad. The most convenient offices will probably be in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore or Thailand. From these offices one may obtain a visa or letter of recommendation exchangeable for a visa. The letters may be exchanged at a Republic of China diplomatic or consular office en route, or on arrival at Keelung or Kaohsuing ports, these two being the only ports where these letters may be exchanged.
It has been reported that it is possible to be granted a visa on arrival, as long as a prior e-mail has been sent to the Ministry of Transport giving details, and asking for such a visa as well as for entry. The email address is email@example.com In this case, a 30 day visa may be granted.
A visitors' visa is valid for three months from the date of issue and is good for a single visit for a 60-day period. Provided one can give grounds, one may apply for a maximum of two extensions, each for 60 days. The Foreign Affairs Police speak English, 7 Chungsiao E Road, Section 1, Taipei. Tel. 381-7475. Application should be made to them for visa extensions.
Citizens of the People's Republic of China are refused entry.
Visa-exempt entry for citizens of certain countries only appears to applicable if arriving by air.
See website of Bureau of Consular Affairs for more details.
Last updated November 2013..
A written declaration of firearms (including airgunss) carried must be submitted to the Customs boarding officer and firearms will be sealed on board.
Pets and all fruit must be declared.
Yachts may stay at a Port of Entry indefinitely. At other ports the maximum stay is 3 months, then you must go to different country and then can come back again.
When bringing medications into Taiwan, you should bring a prescription from a hospital, clinic or doctor stating that the medicines are for the use of the individual The amount brought in must be consistent with the amount on the prescription.
Last updated November 2013.
This web-based system is the best option for dealing with the necessary paperwork.
Go to www.mtnet.gov.tw and follow the link "Foreign Yacht Arrival / Departure Port Application System" at the bottom. (Direct link)
Register first. Arrival and departure procedures are similar, only different forms are used.
- Login and fill the form "Foreign Yacht arrival pre-registration". If you can’t see it, click "New Task" in the left navigation column. It has been reported that the web is displayed in Chinese for some users. If this happens to you, try to contact someone in Taiwan to help you through it (e.g. Peter Pan in Kaohsiung).
- When looking for codes of Taiwanese harbours, enter code TW and search. It will produce list of all Taiwanese harbours. Selecting from the list can be another challange, because the romanization is sometimes very unusual (not what you find e.g. on Google Maps). Try to match the Chinese characters.
- When your application is approved, you should receive email notification. This notification is in Chinese. Google Translate should be able to decipher it. Applications are usually approved fairly quickly.
- Your port clearance (arrival/departure) is found in the left navigation column. Click "Foreign Yacht Arrival/Departure Port Pre-application Form Print", then click "Print" on the right. The form should contain a watermark stamp "Permit of ship’s arrival and departure".
Last updated May 2012.
Harbour fees are NT$ 207 per day. There is generally no fees requested for clearance, nor is an agent required.
Beware of oyster farms in the coastal waters. There are usually almost submerged floating wooden (bamboo) platforms. They should be marked by red beacon at night.
Dogs and cats arriving from rabies free countries must be implanted with microchip and vaccinated against rabies when at the age of 3 months and the period between the day of vaccination and the day of shipment shall be no less than one year. The Rabies Vaccination Certificate shall be in Chinese, English or bilingual and state breed, sex, age, microchip number, date of vaccination, and whether the vaccination was primary or a booster. A copy of the Importers Passport or Identification Card is required and the Importer must apply to the quarantine authority of exporting country for a Veterinary Certificate (in Chinese, English or bilingual) which must contain 1. Breed, sex, age, and microchip number of dog or cat. 2. Date of Rabies vaccination 3. No clinical signs of rabies shown upon inspection of dog or cat 4. No reported case of rabies in the exporting country for last 2 years. 5. The dog or cat has been kept in the exporting country continuously for at least 6 months prior to shipment or since birth.
From Non rabies free countries, dogs and cats need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies no less than 180 days and no more than one year from date of vaccination and in case of booster, the vaccination should be no more than one year prior to shipment. At least 180 days prior to shipment, blood sample of dogs and cats to be imported shall be submitted to Designated Laboratory before Import Permit will be progressed.