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Thailand New Boat Visa Rules - Applying for an extension in Phuket

By SY "Ma Ja Belle" — last modified Jun 18, 2014 03:02 PM

Published: 2014-06-17 23:00:00
Countries: Thailand

Posted 19 May, 2014

I just read the Noonsite page concerning the current boat visa periods as approved by Thai Customs. On the web page it said that the initial boat visa was back to the original 6 months granted prior to the attempted introduction of the 2 month visa system. That is correct, but the extension by a further 6 months is not quite as clear as appears in current print media.

My wife and I have just paid the Customs office in Phuket Town a visit and spoke to the officer in charge of yacht visa renewals to clarify what we had to do to obtain our boat visa extension. We arrived on the 27-12-13, a few days before the 2 month visa system was attempted to be introduced, and have a 6 month visa on our boat until the 26-06-14. The officer’s advice is as below and only applies to Phuket as he wasn’t sure how other ports were handling the issue.

 

  • Original 6 months visa will be from your date of entry issued at Ao Chalong’s new 1 stop entry shop on the pier.
  • Additional 4 months visa to be applied for at the Custom’s office in Phuket Town, obviously prior to your first 6 months expiring. You can apply well before the 6 month expiry date (we are applying 4 weeks prior) however you need 2 photos of your boat, 1 being a profile shot and the other being a shot clearly showing your boat name, plus a letter from your “home” marina while staying in Phuket stating that they are your “home” marina. We never asked the cost of the application because it is not a point of concern to us. Like personal visa extensions, if you want to stay you will pay what they ask regardless.
  • The last 2 month visa gets a bit tricky as we were advised to apply in Phuket Town at the customs office at least 3-4 weeks before our 4 month visa expired as the application had to go to Bangkok for approval and then be returned to Phuket. The E Customs on line application system was not up and running as yet so it was back to paper shuffling. We asked if an appointed agent could pick this visa up as we may be out of the country when it arrived back in Phuket, but could not get a definitive yes or no answer.
  •  

    When we submit our extension application next week we will ask if anything has changed concerning the last 2 month application process, what documentation is needed, what cost is involved, clarify if an agent can handle the issue and last but not least, what happens after the 12 months is up as we wanted to start boat works when the dry season returned in December, which means going over the 12 months currently allowed.

    We will keep you posted.

    Update 3 June, 2014

    Our 4 months extension went very well except for having to return the following day because the person whose signature is required was not working that day (a Monday). To gain the 4 month extension you must have a profile photo of your boat with its name clearly displayed (or a profile and stern shot if only have the name on the stern) plus a letter from your marina stating that you are getting work done on your boat or you are a tourist. Also take in all boat papers and your passport as they (Customs) check them over and require a photocopy of your current personal visa and your passport.

    I asked what I had to do for the next, and final, 2 month extension and the lady I was dealing with said the situation was the same, i.e., apply 4 weeks before you require the 2 month extension because all the paperwork has to go to Bangkok for approval. The same documentation is required as in a 4 month extension.

    Possibility of further extensions

    What I did ask next was if my boat was out of the water being repaired at the end of the last 2 month extension, could I get a further extension until I was back in the water. The answer was a definite no, the boat must leave the country as they “had tightened up” the regulations.

    Fines

    If you stay over your 2 months final extension then you will get fined THB1,000 a day to a maximum of THB10,000. A friend is going to be overstaying by about 3 months as his boat is in bits on the hard, so he considers this as just an added cost to the boat repairs. I would be concerned about getting a black mark against the boat from Thai Customs.

    You can arrange all of the above through an agent, obviously at a cost.

    John & Diana Rowley
    SY "Ma Ja Belle"

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