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Thailand: Phuket Check-in - Feedback from Cruisers

By Sue Richards last modified Apr 21, 2017 04:54 PM
Useful information on Clearing in and out in Phuket.

Published: 2017-04-19 23:00:00
Countries: Thailand

Reported by SY Dreamcatcher - Check-in Phuket 
April 2017


Re the check in process in Phuket - still unnecessarily laborious (reminded us a bit of the Andamans in India!) 

We've had AIS for 4 years (we're Singapore flagged and its been required since 2013). The issue with Phuket is redundancy. Check in at the computer. Go to Port Captain. Go to Immigration. Go to Customs. Go back to Port Captain. Supply same documents to each entity, same on check-out. 

Why can't they scan the passport and ships papers on the first touch point (i.e. on the ground floor when you sign in to the computer) and have those docs auto-distribute to the 3 government entities?? Goodness knows, they have the technology: their hospital IT system was way ahead of Australia's 5 years ago! 

We've checked in to Phuket about 10 times over the years and no doubt the new(ish) facility is much better than the old one on the jetty head (except they don't provide wifi when the old one did!)...but it still took us 1 hr 15 mins to check in and there were no queues. 

We left the boat in Nai Harn on arrival (having had several bad experiences in Chalong) but forgot to leave the AIS on. We gave them our MMSI number, they found the boat location and seemed to be ok with that, except they charged us 200 baht for not having the boat in Au Chalong. When asked why we didn't anchor the boat in Au Chalong we told the port captain "it's an awful anchorage - too many ropes, unmarked moorings etc"...he said "I know, its bad" (!!). Go figure. 

As a point of interest, when checking our MMSI number, they brought it up on the big screen and they had in fact tracked us from just outside Telaga in Langkawi, all the way to Nai Harn, so they clearly must have more AIS reception towers along the way now, possibly Butangs and Teturoa..... they knew where we were every inch of the way in. 

Glen 
DREAMCATCHER

Babadudu
Babadudu says:
Apr 12, 2017 05:30 PM

I recently re-entered Phuket in my yacht after several years away from the country. I was, frankly, dreading the check in procedure with the Immigration, Customs and Harbourmaster offices which, in the past, was somewhat chaotic, with often long queues and numerous forms to complete and photocopies to make. The process at the new 'one-stop-shop' on Chalong pier could not have been more different. 

On arrival we were asked if we'd completed the check-in forms on line (we hadn't). A young lady said this was no problem and led us to one of three computer terminals where, with her patient help and good humour, we completed the on-line forms. We were then directed to the Immigration, Customs and Harbour Master offices (in that order as I recall) which were adjacent to each other. At each station the information we had pre-entered on line was produced with no further need for form-filling. Copies of passports, yacht registration, and clearance from last port were of course required - as they are at all entry harbours around the world. 

AIS is now a requirement in Phuket/Thailand as, increasingly, it is in other countries. A large screen throws up the locations of yachts and other craft in Chalong and neighbouring anchorages, so trying to bluff your way through (if you DON'T have AIS) is unlikely to work. And it goes without saying that check in yachts should have their AIS transponders turned on. 

From entering the Chalong check in complex, to leaving it with all papers in hand, took no more than about 30 minutes (there were no other yachts checking in at the time). Aside from the efficiency of staff, I also found them courteous and friendly - not something said often of government officials. So all-in-all a painless experience and one which left me with a positive feeling towards Phuket. 

All that said, anchoring or mooring in Chalong Bay is not a pleasant experience (especially to newcomers). While it is not unreasonable of the authorities to require visiting yachts to present themselves in Chalong Bay, the provision of ample and reliable mooring buoys or pontoons still leaves much to be desired.

 

Posted 7th February 2015

Thailand, Phuket: Clearing In and Out January 2015

Jason and Karen Trautz, s/v YOLO

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted 12th August 2014

Phuket Check-in

Recent information on Phuket check in at the new immigration, customs and harbour master facility in Chalong Pier.

· Friendly service

· Passports, boat papers, documents that are required to be filled in are scanned at the first section where you register.

· All of the forms are prefilled in and signed before they are scanned into the system.

· It takes some time the first time you do it but once the information is on file following visits are much faster.

· Every department you go to after you have scanned your documents in require no further paperwork. The scanned information is used.

· They are not enforcing the need to have a tracking transponder aboard. The system isn’t ready and they do not have the transponders.

· They (Phuket) are abiding by the new / current regulations where the boat gets 6 months and the people get whatever their visa allows or they get the normal visa on entry 30 days

· It is clearly written on a sign that Saturdays are 600B fee and Sundays 800B fee. Fees of 800B apply to public holidays as well.

· A photograph is taken of all crew and passengers, who of course must be there. They use the same system as the airport for photos.

Krabi Check-in

Information regarding Krabi check in is that they are not using the current Thailand regulations and are giving the boat the same amount of time as the boat owners visa. Example – if you have a 3 month visa your boat gets 3 months only.

If intending to check in at Krabi - it may help to print out this pdf of the New Amendment to Customs Regulations and take it to Krabi Customs. We are trying to get the amendment in Thai so the Customs can read it in their own language.

Report from Bob Mott

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Krabi
Phuket Island
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