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By No owner — last modified Sep 17, 2012 04:49 AM

 Vietnam - Formalities

Clearance

Permission to visit any port must be obtained in advance from a Vietnamese diplomatic mission abroad. This can be done at the same time as when applying for the visa, but as permission must be given by several government departments, the procedure takes time and can be very expensive.

It is advisable to use an agent to arrange the clearance procedures.

When in radio range, call the Port Control and they will issue directions. It is likely you will be required to take a pilot on board.

If leaving the boat overnight to travel inland, it is necessary to have a guard posted.

See the report on Jack Omman's experience visiting Vietnam.

Last updated July 2016.

Immigration

The Vietnamese Government has  decided that until 30th June 2017 holders of passports from the UK, Italy, Belarus, Germany, Spain and France will not require a Vietnamese visa if the following conditions are met:-
a) Passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the planned exit date from Vietnam.
b) The stay is no longer than 15 days.
c) Entry must be more than 30 days since previously exiting the country.

Up to now, the Government of Vietnam has unilaterally waived visas for holders of passports only from the following countries:-
the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Russia Federation, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Length of stay permitted - 15 days. If a longer stay is required, a visa must be obtained in advance.

Obtaining a visa, if required:

Visas for other nationalities must be obtained in advance and the Vietnamese Embassy in
Bangkok
is reputed to be the easiest to deal with.

Extensions may be available but must be applied for before the expiry of the existing visa.

The visa or entry permit must by accompanied by a photograph, and extra passport photos for each crew member may be required when clearing in.

Visas are normally issued with the points of both entry and exit from the country specified. This can be altered at an Immigration office in the country.

Overstaying your Vietnamese visa without authority is a serious matter and you will be fined.

Note: For security reasons, it is advisable to carry copies of documents rather than originals when in Vietnam.

Last updated July 2016.

Customs

Firearms must be declared on arrival.

It may be necessary to provide lists of equipment, stores and medical supplies.

If carrying prescription drugs, have a note from a doctor detailing the drugs you are taking.

Penalties for possession or distribution of illegal drugs can be severe. Anyone found in possession of even a small amount of such drugs can face the death sentence.

Last updated July 2016.

Health

Cholera is a risk. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

Beware of food from street-side vendors, which might be contaminated.

Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the last 3 months. (July 2016)

Fees

From 23rd November 2015, a single entry Visa will cost cost US$25 and a multi-entry 3 month visa US$50. Visas for longer than 3 months will cost more.

Port fees are payable at every port entered and can range from US$400 to US$800 plus.

Fees are payable to have a guard for the boat when it is unattended overnight.

Last updated October 2015.

Restrictions

Photography is not allowed in ports, airports and harbours.

There are restrictions on internet usage, which can affect access to social media websites.

Pets

Animals must be declared on arrival

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