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By No owner — last modified Apr 13, 2018 08:31 PM

 Ecuador - Formalities

Clearance

Agents are no longer required for all foreign-flagged boat less than 50 TRB (Gross Registered Tonnage).

On August 8, 2017, The Government of Ecuador published in the Official Registry Nº 53, the law for clearing in and out of Ecuador:

For foreign vessels, which are for private use, not for commercial purposes and less than 50 GRT, the Captain, ship-owner or owner may represent the ship as its shipping agent, who will coordinate directly with the Harbour Captain's jurisdiction, for compliance of the norm and payment of respective fees.

Note this new rule is for Mainland Ecuador only.

Clearing into Ecuador

It is important to note that after so many years of Agents acting as a go-between, this new rule will take some time to be effective. Currently yachts clearing in are suffering delays due to the lack of a well defined procedure between official local authorities. In Salinas, for example, Puerto Lucia marina is acting as a "liaison" with the reception officials.

On arrival, the Port Captain should be contacted on VHF Channels 6 or 12, as Channel 16 is rarely used except as a general calling channel. The Port Captain will advise on where to berth the yacht for clearance.

There are four officials who will visit the vessel. Port Captain, Customs, Immigration and a Sanitary Doctor. They will likely all arrive at the same time, and will deal with clearance on board the vessel.

Officials will want to see valid passports for all crew members, copies of the vessel registration and the exit 'zarpe' from your last port of call.

The skipper and crew members must remain on board until they are cleared.

The majority of Officials speak Spanish only.

For details on clearance charges see Fees below.

It is advisable to enter at Puerto Amistad, Puerto Lucia YC, Salinas YC or Guayaquil YC, as they are more used to foreign visitors and there are less likely to be problems with officials.

Clearing out of Ecuador

Yachts sailing from one Ecuadorean port to another must obtain a domestic zarpe, while yachts leaving the country will require an international zarpe.

Yachts intending to visit the Galapagos from Ecuador do not need an autographo in advance if they are only planning on visiting one port. The usual procedure is to obtain outward clearance (an international zarpe) for the Marquesas (or another offshore destination) and not to mention the intended stop in Galapagos to the officials. It must be mentioned, though, each port tends to have its own rules! See Galapagos for more details.

Last updated January 2018.

Immigration

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.

Nationals of the following countries require a visa in advance to enter Ecuador:-
Afghanistan,Bangladesh,Eritrea,Ethiopia,Kenya,Nepal,Nigeria,Pakistan,Somalia,>Senega,Cuba,North Korea.

All other nationals will be granted a "12-X" visa on arrival, valid for 90 days.

A further 90 days extension is possible at a cost of US$200 plus a $30 application fee. If a couple can prove they're married (requires a marriage certificate with apostille - an international certification - from the issuing country) then the dependent is added for an additional $50. The same would apply for children in which case they'll need birth certificates with apostille.

The maximum stay is 6 months in every year.

Any extension to the 12-X visa must be applied for prior to its expiry. There is an automatic $200 fine (with an upper limit of $2000) for an expired visa.

Ensure that your passport is stamped on entry.

From of 2018 February 5th, it will be mandatory to present the Health Insurance certificate

Visa requirements are not strictly enforced for those arriving by boat and short stays are granted on arrival even to nationalities that normally need visas.

It is a legal requirement to carry ID. You should keep a photocopy of your passport pages including your photograph and Ecuadorean immigration entry stamp with you at all times.

All documantation not in Spanish is required to have a notorised  translation.

See this official website for the details.

Last updated January 2018.

Customs

Since May 2011, foreign visiting sailboats are allowed to remain in Ecuador for up to a year, if the main purpose is tourism.

Customs will grant a vessel 90 days on entry at no cost.

If you wish to stay more than 90 days, one extension is permitted for a stay of up to 1 year. Extensions must be applied for with Customs and a fee paid.

It may be possible to get further extensions, however normally after a maximum of 3 years the boat has to leave the country.

Firearms must be declared.

The Ecuadorian Customs (Corporación Aduanera Ecuatoriana) now requires that all international merchant commercial ships and tourist yachts in transit, must be registered in the Customs computerized system called Sistema Interactivo de Comercio Exterior (SICE). Customs will register your vessel in the SICE, and the Coast Guard in the MaritimeTraffic Information System (SITRAME).

Any involvement with illegal drugs is a serious crime. The penalties are harsh and prison conditions are extremely grim.

Last updated January 2018.

Health

The Sanitary Doctor who will visit the boat when clearing into Ecuador will want to see any vaccination certificates, however no vaccinations are mandatory.

Malaria and dengue fever are health risks in all coastal and jungle provinces.

Amoebic dysentery is endemic in some parts of the country.

Vaccination against yellow fever, as well as malaria, is recommended. Tetanus and hepatitis vaccinations are always a good idea.

There is some risk of cholera. Do not drink untreated water.

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (January 2018) There is still a high risk from the zika virus regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Ecuador has multiple reported cases and active virus transmission.

ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

Documents

Owner and crew must have a valid passport, crew list, last zarpe and vessel original registration form. Have legible copies of all the above documents at hand.

Yachts must be registered with the computerised Customs system (SICE) as well as the Maritime Traffic Information System (SITRAME). Officials on arrival will deal with registration.

On departure from port, each yacht must provide a Sail Plan with details of waypoints on the intended route to the next port or out of territorial waters, along with predicted date and time of arrival. Officially, the authorities (DIRNEA - www.dirnea.org) must be informed if you deviate more than 25 miles from your intended route or change your port of destination, however in practice this is not required.

Last updated November 2017.

DIRNEA
(Direccion Nacional de Espacios Aquaticos)
Tel:+593-4-2321602 Fax:+593-4-2324714
DIRNEA has information on SITRAME in Spanish and English on its website. SITRAME (Sistema de Información de Tráfico Marítimo) is a computer tracking system that has been set up to oversee the movements of all maritime shipping in Ecuadorean territorial waters. It has been implemented by the Ecuadorean Navy and managed by DIRNEA, the authority for the merchant navy.
The area of jurisdiction is: West until 095° 23 00 W, from 01° 28' 54" N to 03° 23' 33.96" S; and, 200 NM around the Galápagos Islands.
NOTE: There is a warning that the DIRNEA website is not secure.

Fees

The following rates are being applied, and may be subject to change. Most payments have to be made in cash.

Lighthouses and buoys
A tax for light dues ("faros y boyas") of US$3 per gross ton for Galapagos cruising or US$0.73 for Ecuador cruising, must be paid to the port captain on arrival. One should get a receipt for this payment or one will have to pay it again in the next port.
Total approx. US$45

Immigration
US$15 on arrival
US$15 on departure

Customs
-
If the length of stay is less than 90 days, there is no payment of fees.
- If the length of stay is greater than 90 days, deal directly with Customs for payment of the extension fee (fee tbc).

Transport of Officials (by taxi)
US$40-US$50 on arrival and on departure.

Zarpes
Zarpe: US$30

Notes re. Fees

  • Yachts have reported in the past being overcharged for zarpes.
  • In some ports you may be charged overtime when clearing out if leaving the harbour outside office hours (even if formalities have been completed during office hours). This seems to be less of a problem in the ports of Puerto Lucia, Salinas and Guayaquil, where foreign yachts are more common.
  • Yachts should avoid mooring in commercial harbours as yachts are charged the same rates as large ships, which are very high.
  • There are not usually fees for anchoring in fishing harbours.

Last updated November 2017.

Pets

Animals must be declared.

CAT requirements
- Certificate of Vaccination within 60 days before travel against panleukopenia felina and rabies.
- Have been treated externally and internally against parasites at least 30 days before embarkation.
- Have been inspected at embarkation by Veterinarian and found to be healthy, without tumours, fresh wounds or in the process of healing, without any quarantined transferable diseases or the presence of ectoparasites.
- Are placed in special cage/box cleaned out and disinfected.

DOG requirements
- Must have been vaccinated within 60 days of travel against distemper, canine hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, influenza and rabies (proof of dates and products used needed).
- Have been treated against parasites, externally and internally at least 30 days before travel.
- Have been inspected and identified at the moment of embarkation by official Veterinarian, and found to be in good condition, without tumours, flesh wounds or in process of healing, and without quarantined transferable diseases or presence of ectoparasites.

Further details from:
Ecuador Office, Ministeris de Turismo, Avenida Eloy Alfaro No. 32-300 and Carlos Tobar Quito, Ecuador - Tel: (2) 507 562 or 228 204/5, e-mail [email protected]
Ecuador Office Camara Provincial de Turismos (Captur), Avenida 6 de Dicembre 1424 y Carrion Qito, Ecuador - Tel: (2) 224 074 or 509 860
www.ecuador.org
www.captur.com

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