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By No owner — last modified Feb 07, 2018 02:30 PM

 Chile - Formalities


A complete list of Ports of Entry may be found here.


It is now necessary to notify the SAG (Servicio Agricola y Ganadero) agency in Chile at least 24-48hrs prior to arrival. This mandated pre-arrival notification is on their website, but it says that the "shipping company" must notify the SAG office 48hrs prior to arrival. This rule apparently now applies for all arriving vessels. Recent cruisers are reporting that they received citations for failing to report the intent to arrive (into Puerto Montt, specifically).

The notification can be done by email. Contact through the SAG website or by email to the specific port to which you will be arriving. (Caution: the English version of the website is glitchy and is not for slow-bandwidth connections.) In this email to the SAG officials, you must list your past 24 months of cruising ports of call as well as a copy of the logbook. The original will be inspected on arrival. It is advisable to telephone to check that the email has been received.


Foreign vessels arriving directly from a foreign port must immediately contact the port captain (Capitania del Puerto) on Channel 16. No crew must disembark until being authorised by the maritime authority. An official will visit the boat accompanied by immigration (Policia de Investigaciones) and quarantine (Servicio de Salud). Once these formalities have been completed, the captain must visit Customs separately (see below).

Regulations state that foreign yachts must have a pilot on board, unless they are fully insured, although this does appear to vary from port to port. Recently, requesting proof of insurance has generally been abandoned due to the difficulty of identifying genuine, valid papers.

Foreign yachts requiring emergency help from the Chilean Navy or using the Chilean SAR may have to pay for these services.

Foreign-flagged yachts arriving from another Chilean port must immediately contact the port captain on Channel 16, who will inform the captain of the vessel that within two hours he needs to visit the maritime authority office to report his arrival.

Chilean waters are not free to roam. The Armada de Chile (the Navy) controls all movement and they keep a close watch on foreign yachts and insists on a detailed itinerary listing every overnight anchorage. Indicating which channels you intended to use is often sufficient. When listing ETAs at various ports/anchorages it is better to arrive earlier rather than later than the estimated date.

It is advisable to try to contact the naval authorities on HF radio (if you have one) before entering Chilean territorial waters, which both Chile and Peru consider as extending to 200 miles offshore. It may be better to report to the Chilean Navy (Armada) via email (instead of radio), [email protected] .

Quarantine Regulations

From January 2016, "SAG" (the authority responsible for preventing the introduction of alien flora and fauna into Chile) has implemented the law requiring the declaration of any fresh fruit, vegetables, meat or other animal products on board. Any such item may be confiscated and destroyed. There is a fine for not declaring such items. Currently US$4500 (Jan 2016).
'Everyone' (and this appears to be the crew as well as the skipper) must make this declaration. The form, Joint CUSTOMS-SAG sworn declaration can also be given to you on arrival.
This procedure may have to be repeated at every Chilean port visited.


The exit permit (zarpe) for vessels leaving either for another Chilean port or a foreign destination must be requested by the captain, who must personally visit the port captain's office 24 hours before the intended departure time. On the day of departure, an official from the port captain's office will bring the permit to the boat. After this, the vessel must leave within one hour, otherwise the exit permit will be cancelled. In practice, the permit may be collected from the office on the day of departure.

In an effort to "more closely control foreign vessels", further Clearance rules apply which vary from port to port:

  • In Puerto Williams, now, if leaving for local trips (The Horn and the glaciers), a maximum 10 day only zarpe will be issued.
  • Boats may get into trouble by not going through the correct procedure when leaving Puerto Williams for Ushuaia, in neighbouring Argentina, a routine trip which many boats do on a regular basis.
  • Those intending to cruise northwards through the Beagle Channel may not stop at Ushuaia, if they do, they must return to Puerto Williams to go through all the formalities again.
  • For cruising the Beagle Channel from Puerto Williams, no zarpe is required for trips to Lapataia and Islas Bridges, but the Prefectura must be notified before you leave and given details of your trip. Any trip further out into the Beagle Channel requires a zarpe.
  • In Puerto Montt zarpes will be issued all the way to Puerto Williams, however the Armada will request that a daily check-in is made to monitor movements.

Clearance can be simplified by using a Clearance Agent; however this is not a legal requirement.

Be aware that local officials can (and do) adapt the official regulations. The best advice to to dress smartly, be helpful and patient.

Last updated May 2018.

If departing Chile for the Falklands, see Argentina Clearance with information on how to obtain a permit.


Passports must be valid for 6 months.

Duration of Visit
Up to 90 days: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauricio, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Up to 60 days: Grenada, Greece, Indonesia and Peru.

Up to 30 days: Belize, Bolivia, Jamaica, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.

Up to 21 days: Dominica.

Reciprocity Fees
Citizens of Australia and Mexico must pay a reciprocity fee on their first entry to Chile by air. It is unclear if this reciprocity fee applies to yacht arrivals. The fee is US$95 for Australian citizens (as of January 2014) and US$23 for Mexican citizens (as of September 2012). The fee is payable in US dollars or by credit card. This one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport; however Customs officials (as of December 2013) were correcting the policy to only 90 days validity. Citizens of most other countries, such as the UK or the US, do not have to pay a fee.

Last Updated January 2018.

Chilean Immigration Department (Departamento de Extranjeria y Migracion)
2nd Floor, San Antonio 580, Santiago
Tel:(56-2) 600 626 4222
Opening hours: 08:30 - 14:00 (Mon-Fri)
Apply to this office for a visa extension, or if wishing to stay longer than 90 days.


See the Quarantine section in Clearance for details of the Customs Declaration form.

NOTE: There are numerous anecdotes of the extremely stringent Customs policy, particularly when the Customs Declaration Form is checked against in-person inspections. If in doubt, mark "yes" – then let the official sort it out during the inspection. If you mark "no" and then you are found to have a controlled item aboard, you are liable for fines and additional trouble.

Any foreign yacht entering Chile gets a 90 day temporary import permit. This is renewable for a further 90 days and again up to one year without issue, and possibly beyond in certain circumstances.

If a vessel is left and the owner travels abroad, a nominated Chilean resident should have power of attorney notarized and this be lodged with the nearest Customs authority.

If the temporary import comes up for renewal, it can only be extended by the owner/Captain if he/she is in Chile at the time. Otherwise the nominated resident individual will have to apply for the extensions.

The Maritime Health Department may visit the yacht. In Arica they always do, and they charge more than US$200 for the inspection.

Firearms must be declared.

Last updated January 2018.


Routine vaccinations are advised.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has no current health alerts for the entire country of Chile.


A cruising permit is issued to visiting yachts when clearing into Chile. The permit must be presented to officials at every port of call and is usually retained by the port captain until departure. A detailed itinerary must be submitted. Yachts cruising the southern archipelago have found the officials in Castro to be the most cooperative, not insisting on a precise cruising plan and issuing an open permit valid for two or three months provided a designated port was visited at the end of the proposed itinerary.


Yachts up to 25 tons: Each time a yacht enters or leaves the country it must pay US$3.11.

Yachts from 25 to 1000 tons: Each time a yacht enters or leaves a Chilean port or marina it must pay US$51.00.

Please Note: A yacht less than 25 tons of TRG must pay this tax only when it enters or leaves the country. A yacht more than 25 tons of TRG must pay each time it enters or leaves a port of Chile, even when it sails in Chilean waters without leaving the country.

All foreign yachts must pay lighthouse and beacon fees (Faros y Balisas). These are: US$2.50 per year or US$0.98 per ton for one trip.

Overtime is also charged outside normal working hours. These are Monday to Friday 0700 - 1900 and Saturday 0700 - 1300. The charge is 50% more than the standard rate.

Fees clearing in at Iquique:
March 2017: US$25 (US boat)

Fees clearing in at Arica:
March 2016: US$450
April 2015: US$27
July 2014: US$425 (coming from Peru).
While a French boat in Puerto Montt (arriving from New Caledonia) did not pay anything. It appears only Arica port of entry makes these charges.

Note that fees usually increase slightly year on year.

Last updated January 2018.


Access to the Chilean channels without a permit is prohibited. Both the lighthouse keepers and Navy keep an eye on yacht movement.

CHILREP: Boats must report their position to the nearest radio station at 0800 and 2000 local time daily. The frequencies to be used should be ascertained locally. Usually one can report on SSB 4146 kHZ, VHF Ch 16 or by email: [email protected]

The report must contain the following information: yacht name; call signal; date and time; position in lat and long; course and speed.

The Navy will monitor the progress of cruising boats and insists on being kept updated on one's progress, primarily for one's own safety.

There are restricted areas in Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Williams. The port captain must be informed if a yacht wishes to move to another anchorage within those harbours.

Some parts of the Patagonian channels are prohibited to yachts.

Local Customs

It is not uncommon to hitchhike in Chile. It is a common, accepted practice and it is normal to see hitchhikers (usually backpackers) on long, remote stretches of highway. It takes patience, but both locals and tourist may do this.

Stay vigilant if traveling in this way.

Clearance Agents

Anasazi Ltda.
RUT 76.509.752-5 , Puerto Williams , Region XII - CHILE
Tel:+56 9 8264 8569
Contact James Burwick. Yacht services & Clearance logistics.
Ernesto Caniglia
Maipu 229 , Ushuaia , 9410 Tierra del Fuego
Clearance Agent.


Cats and Dogs entering must comply with the following - the pet must have undergone (within 15 days of travel) a clinical examination to confirm the pet is free from communicable diseases. - the pet has been vaccinated against rabies between 1 and 12 months preceding embarkation to Chile - the pet has undergone and internal and external anti parasites treatment. - at the time of embarkation the pet does not show any signs of communicable diseases. - must have a current Health Certificate from a recognised veterinarian showing name, breed and age of pet and name of owner and Rabies Vaccination Certificate showing serial number of vaccine. Additional information from Download from

MaryanneWebb says:
Feb 02, 2018 11:37 AM

In January 2018 we arrived in Chile (Puerto Montt) and were concerned about what on board provisions would be removed (by the Health inspector). We were greatly relieved when ALL our dried food (chickpeas, lentils, spices, nuts) were considered OK, and even our one bottle of honey was OK (the officer explained he would only confiscate the honey if there were several bottles). All our tinned fish/meats were OK, our butter (in fridge) and cheese (in fridge) OK. We had already used up our fresh provisions, but I believe any fresh fruits, veg, and eggs would have been removed (if we had had any).

MaryanneWebb says:
Feb 02, 2018 11:16 AM

Email to SAG required prior to arrival in Chile (Puerto Montt, possibly other areas).

We arrived in Chile (Puerto Montt) from NZ in late January 2018. We had completed all the SAG paperwork indicated and had it printed out and ready, and had emailed in advance the notifications of our ETA to the local and national Armada - we thought we'd done everything required.

However on our SAG inspection we were given a citation for not having complied with the rule that we should have reported in advance of our arrival all countries visited in the last 24 months (with dates). We could find nothing that indicated this was required of us online (unless this was a rule based on an invasive moth and we'd visited Korea/China/Japan areas during their egg laying season?) - but we were requested to appear at a hearing (which turned out to be just hanging out in the lobby to hand over our 'apology' letter) - this was a big worry, requiring a visit to an office somewhat out of town, and an extra day of officialdom we weren't expecting..

To avoid this, we suggest those following in our footsteps and entering the country via Puerto Montt - email their last 24 months of countries (with dates) to the SAG offices (and have their log books available to inspect).

So 48 hours before you arrive (we were told both 24 and 48 hours – so play safe and make it 48 hours – and in addition to the Armada emails) - send an email to SAG listing your last 24 months of countries visited (along with your boat name, and details). For Puerto Montt arrivals we were told this info must be sent to these two email addresses:

* [email protected]
* [email protected]

I’m not sure if other ports enforce this rule, but other emails can be found at the SAG website (

• SAG website - (for maritime transport) shows a form (el Aviso de Recalada de Nave) for which the link does not function, so we were unable to print/view it.
• We checked the SAG website and found no mention of the requirement except with regard to the “gypsy moth Asian race (PGRA)" (Resolución 4412 EXENTA). And our understanding is that this rule did not apply to us, since we have not been in the infected areas (but we could not convince SAG of this).

Moondog says:
Mar 18, 2016 10:39 PM

I delivered a 72 foot power vessel from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Coquimbo, Chile. My zarpe was from La Salinas, Ecuador to Arica, Chile. My final destination was Coquimbo, Chile and most of my crew were Chileans.

The Port Captain, Immigration officer, Doctor and Agricultural Inspector came out to the boat. The vessels new home was to be Coquimbo, Chile.

They did not charge me for all the inspections at the time, but when I arrived in Coquimbo I received a bill for $450 US. The agricultural inspector had me sign a document which stated that the fruit and vegetables would be consumed on the vessel, and not removed from the vessel (otherwise stiff fines and penalties would occur).

Moondog says:
Mar 16, 2016 12:23 AM

sept.2015 A $250US fee to in inspect boat for fruits and vegetables anything in the freezer was not of concern. They did not confiscate four tomatoes six potatoes and twolemons.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 27, 2016 12:03 PM

Our thanks to Henk Boersma for these updates.

Puerto Williams Update:
Recently the "SAG" (these are the people responsible for avoiding alien flora and fauna arriving on Chilean soil) started implementing a law that no fresh fruit, vegetables or meat can be brought into the country. All will be confiscated and destroyed. Threats with fines for not complying are in the air. For years this has been the rule in the rest of the country, however now PW is included as well which doesn’t make sense. Maybe it will blow over.
For the charter boats that do their shopping in Ushuaia (Argentina), this new rule forces a change of plan... The problem is of course, that there are no reliable supplies in Puerto Williams!

Ushuaia Update:
All is quiet on the customs front, apart from some issues which involved Argentine sailors with foreign flagged boats. They are still fussy about arriving or going to the Falklands without a permit.

Cruising the Beagle Channel
For cruising the Beagle Channel as far as Staten Island, no zarpe is required for trips to Lapataia and Islas Bridges but the Prefectura must be notified before you leave with the details of your trip. Anywhere further out, and you must pay a visit to the Prefectura for a zarpe.

13 Beaufort
13 Beaufort says:
Jan 11, 2016 03:01 AM

Important update: as of Jan. 2016 Chile has quarantine laws almost as strict as those of Australia/New Zealand: no meat/fruit/vegetables/dairy products/honey etc.etc.
(and yes that includes stocking up in Ushuaia Argentina for a trip to Cape Horn Chile...)

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