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By No owner — last modified Jun 12, 2018 05:51 PM

 Papua New Guinea - Formalities

Clearance

Pre-Arrival

All vessels are required to give notice of impending arrival to Customs, Quarantine and Immigration no later than 48 hours before arrival to; [email protected].

Penalties may apply for failure to do so.

The following details will be required:-

  • the name of the yacht;
  • your intended first port of arrival;
  • your estimated arrival time;
  • your last four ports of call;
  • the details of people on board including name, date of birth, nationality, and passport number, details of any illness or disease recently encountered;
  • if you have any animals on board;
  • if you have any firearms on board.


On Arrival

On arrival, clearly display the Q-flag on entering PNG waters and go directly to an appointed boarding station. Clearance must be completed before going ashore. No persons other than a Quarantine or Customs officer is allowed to board, nor can any person, animal or article leave the boat until full clearance has been granted.

Depending on your arrival time, Customs and Quarantine may require all persons to remain on board overnight before clearing you the following day. Contact with other vessels in port before clearance is also prohibited.

You will need to provide a detailed itinerary of where you plan to go in PNG, however there does not appear to be any problems if you don't strictly stick to it.

A cruising permit will be issued with the same time limit as the skipper's visa. Extension of the permit may be granted on application, provided you have an appropriate visa.

If the skipper wishes to leave PNG and then return, prior approval must be obtained from Customs.

During your Stay

It is necessary to clear in and out of every port throughout Papua New Guinea and failure to do so can create serious problems. Officials prefer an email informing them of your arrival to a port 48 hours in advance. In many places this will speed up formalities. In each Customs port you visit you will be given a clearance paper to the next Customs port on your itinerary.

Despite what you might be told in your first port of entry, it's advisable to go and see both Customs and Immigration at each port that you visit, in order to avoid any misunderstandings. (See report under comments at bottom of page by Mary Lafferty June 10, 2018).

Bearing in mind the number of Customs ports you plan to visit, you will need a good stock of copies of your boat papers and passports to give out to the authorities at each place.

Departure

Before departure from Papua New Guinea, Customs and Immigration clearance is required. This is available at any Customs port. Customs should be contacted in advance to avoid unnecessary delay.

It is an offence to depart without clearance.

See PNG Customs website for more information.

Last updated:  September 2018

Immigration

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
For the month of November, 2018, PNG are suspending VOA. Visas will have to be applied for in advance of arrival in PNG. VOAs will resume on 1 December, 2018. See this news item for more details.

All visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months.

Immigration must be visited when clearing into and out of the country. Whilst officials may tell you it's not necessary to visit Immigration at each port you visit, it's probably prudent to do so in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Visas on Arrival:

Visas on arrival are now issued to the nationals of a range of countries which include the EU and most other northern European countries, Canada, USA, New Zealand (but not Australia) and many countries in SE Asia. See the complete list at www.immigration.gov.pg

These visas are aimed mainly at visitors arriving by air, but it seems that such entry permits can also be issued to sailors (yachts persons). "For those arriving by yacht, application can be made at PNGICSA or at the designated international port of entry." This means Port Moresby, Rabaul or Daru. It is necessary to present the Ship's papers, the logbook identifying the crew and have completed the Customs declaration.

Visas granted on arrival are FREE and valid for 30 days.

Visa in Advance:

Other nationals must have an entry permit or a visa.

Sixty day visas can be obtained in advance (called a Yachperson visa). These are available from your local consulate or embassy and should be processed within a week.

There is a PNG Embassy in Honiara where a visa takes 5 working days to obtain. There are also PNG diplomatic missions in Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Suva, Vila, Honiara, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Wellington, Manila, Washington, Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

www.embassy-worldwide.com

Visa Extensions

Visa extensions can be lengthy and complicated and should be started at least a week before your current visa expires. An extension of 30 days is available one time only, but this can only be done in Port Moresby. If you cannot go there personally, it is recommended to send passports by courier or use an agent. Proof of sufficient funds to support your stay in PNG may be necessary, otherwise an immigration landing bond of about US$1000 (which is refundable) is required.

Send to: The Chief Migration Officer, Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority, PO Box 1790 BOROKO, NCD, Papau New Guinea.

Occasionally passports have been reported lost, but they have invariably turned up later. Even if an extension has not been granted, people have been allowed to stay while the search for the missing passports is in progress.

Last updated:  May 2018

Immigration Dept
P. O. Box 1790, BOROKO , National Capital District , Papua New Guinea
Tel:(675) 323-1500 Fax:(675) 325-5206

Customs

A cruise permit may be issued to the Master of the craft if Customs is satisfied the craft is transiting Papua New Guinea for non-commercial purposes. Cruise permits may be issued for the length of the Master's visa. Extension of the permit may be granted on application, provided you have an appropriate visa.

If your visa allows you to reside in Papua New Guinea for a limited period you may be required to temporarily import a craft into Papua New Guinea. Temporary importation without paying Customs duty and tax is subject to: the vessel being exported within 12 months of arrival and a security in cash or an appropriate bank guarantee being provided equal to the duty and tax that would otherwise be payable. More information on the Customs website.

Other Customs Rules

Firearms, including flareguns, are either detained until departure, or sealed on board. A week's notice of departure is required is firearms have to be returned.

Prescribed medicines containing narcotics must be declared. One must have a prescription stating that these are necessary and being used under a doctor's direction. The medicines should be kept in the original containers.

Prohibited exports are: bird of paradise plumes, artefacts dated pre-1960 and stone objects, except stone axes.

Currency amounting to K5000 or more (or the equivalent in foreign currency, excluding traveller's cheques), must be declared on arrival and departure. Reporting is required by law and failure to do so is an offence.

Quarantine

All garbage must remain sealed on board.

The galley stores may be inspected and suspect food destroyed (at your expense).

If you have an animal on board you must remain at a mid-water mooring or anchorage and keep the animal secure for the duration of your stay in Papua New Guinea.

To help keep marine pests out of Papua New Guinea before you leave your last port, PNG Quarantine ask that you voluntarily adopt a bio protection strategy by:-
Keeping all ancillary gear and internal seawater systems clean of marine pests and growths.
Cleaning your vessels' hull where possible before arrival or apply antifouling paint within one year before arrival.

There is a charge for quarantine inspection.

Last updated:  October 2018

Health

Malaria

This is a high-risk malaria area, where the disease has become resistant to many of the anti-malarial drugs in use. Advice should be taken as to the most suitable anti-malarial prevention to be followed.

Cruisers based in PNG advise the following (May 2013):
You can purchase Malcurra over the counter for malaria treatment. Malcurra is Artesunate, which is an excellent and cheap treatment to have in your first aid kit in the event that you get malaria. Fansidar is also available over the counter, and taking Fansidar after the course of Artesunate will kick the parasites right out of your system.

Cruisers with children on board visiting 2015 recommend:
If you wish to take medications, doxycyclone for adults is available in many places but not Larium (or anything else) for kids. We got a prescription from a hospital doctor in Suva, Fiji. I thought we could get a repeat in Indonesia but it has proved impossible. We were kindly given some malaria tester kits that you can buy online by another 'kid boat'. We also brought treatment meds in Kavieng that were recommended by the guys at Nusa Resort. The pharmacist was great as she made up little kits for each member of the family with the correct doses for each person. So, we try to avoid being bitten by using deet lotion (called "Autan" in Papua and Maluku), long sleeves and trousers in the evening, trying to be back on board before dusk and mossie nets.

Cholera

This continues to be reported throughout Papua New Guinea. Outbreaks in the National Capital District (Port Moresby) and the Central province have been confirmed.

Dengue Fever

There is also a dengue fever risk.

Tuberculosis is endemic, dengue fever occurs frequently and there are occasional outbreaks of Hepatitis A and typhoid. AIDS/HIV is a growing problem.

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (September 2016) There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Papua New Guinea is an area of interest. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. 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.

Fees

There are no fees for clearing into PNG, except for Quarantine.

Quarantine: 55 kina ($20)

It has been reported that some Customs officers (particularly in Alotau) may try to charge, but officially there is no fee so stand firm. If you do end up paying on arrival and/or departure, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to get a receipt.

Head of Customs in Alotau - Eric Awamaki (emai - [email protected]) should be contacted if any problems are encountered.

There are no fees for a visa on arrival.

A departure tax may be charged per crew member.

Officially, overtime is payable for clearance after 1600 Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Cruisers clearing into Port Moresby have reported not being charged overtime, although it's likely this depends on the port you choose for clearance and the officers working that day.

Fees for visa extensions (Oct 2013) were 600 kina for the captain and 400 kina for crew.

Last updated:  September 2018

Restrictions

Protection of the environment is taken very seriously and every precaution applied to preserve the flora and fauna of the country.

Don't throw any waste or foodstuffs overboard. Use designated quarantine disposal points. Keep all food and animals secure until Quarantine officers have inspected your vessel. Do not trade foodstuffs with other overseas vessels. Keep your vessel free of insects. Clean your vessels' hull where possible before arrival (or apply antifouling paint within one year before arrival) and keeping all ancillary gear and internal seawater systems clean of marine pests and growths.

Pets

If you have an animal on board you must remain at a mid-water mooring or anchorage and keep the animal secure for the duration of your stay in Papua New Guinea.

Last updated:  October 2018

SVBlowinBubbles
SVBlowinBubbles says:
Aug 27, 2018 05:00 AM

Cleared in and out of Port Moresby with no issues. Only charge was 55 kina($20) to quarantine. They even cleared in on a Sunday and out on a holiday Monday. RPYC no longer has moorings. They have added more slips, total of 256, many are empty and available. Area surrounding is safe in daytime. Grocery stores on each side, one on left is a little cheaper but one on right is in a mall with an alcohol store.RPYC offers free Wi-Fi in the club just ask for passwords at the front desk. We toured many areas within a couple hours of Port Moresby and were never frightened. People were very kind and friendly. Vodaphone and digital are both available at the mall to the right, 3 minute walk, they seem to be expensive and often the systems are down. (160 kina $70 for 5 GB) Man name Brian is the club welcome person and very knowledgeable. Has lived here for 60 yrs. he can help with almost any query.

Mary Lafferty
Mary Lafferty says:
Jun 10, 2018 11:48 AM

May 2018: Checking out at Vanimo Papua New Guinea - a warning!

For cruising yachts intending to exit PNG at Vanimo we would like to share with you our recent check out experience there.
We entered PNG at Rabaul in May 2018 and issued a 30 day Visa on Arrival by the Immigration Officer at Kokopo International Airport. Customs informed us of the need for point to point check in at each port visited and we were issued with the appropriate documentation.
On our arrival in Vanimo we completed the customs check in as required. In light of the information sourced on Noonsite about security issues we introduced ourselves to the police who were very helpful and keen to make our stay a safe one.
After 6 days of an pleasant, uneventful stay we contacted Mr Stanly Gardiwilo, Immigration officer, to arrange a time to complete the formalities and what followed was a sad end to our visit.
We were subjected to verbal abuse of the worst kind, an extraordinary irrational tirade that included threats of extortion and seizure of our passports. Mr Gardiwilo refused to discuss the matter with Immigration in Rabaul or Customs in Vanimo. He refused to stamp our passports out because we had not come to see him on our arrival in Vanimo. (Immigration at Rabaul confirmed we were NOT required to visit immigration until exiting PNG)
We were told to ‘come back next week’ (after our visas had expired) and would then be fined in a court of law and could expect to be jailed! We would have been in a very precarious situation had it not been for the excellent work provided by the Australian High Commission in Port Morseby in liaising with relevant authorities on our behalf. We were also confined to our yacht while Mr Gardiwilo gave consideration to our situation overnight. Our passports were duly stamped the following morning and we left Vanimo. While not required, it would be prudent to visit Immigration if planning to stay in Vanimo to avoid the the very unexpected situation we found ourselves in.
A formal complaint has been made to the relevant authorities in the hope that it will benefit cruising yacht community.
Andrew Irwin Meredith Louey Mary Lafferty
Yacht Calamia

Neddy
Neddy says:
Feb 13, 2018 11:35 PM

Clearing in Milne Bay, only Alotau for full clearing. Samurai have only Custom Clearing. Misima have a health officer that will give you Quarantine clearance, but its no good if you go to Rabul, Samarie take it in as good
More info [email protected]

svthyme
svthyme says:
Jul 16, 2017 05:51 AM

For up to date information or connecting with sailors in Papua New Guinea great information is available from RPYC Sailing Division - make contact via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SailingPortMoresby/

Yanas
Yanas says:
Mar 12, 2016 01:02 PM

Hello. I've been part of Katharsis II crew in july 2015 for PNG leg between Alotau and Madang. Our route was Alotau-Discovery Bay-Esa'ala-Dobu-Tewara-Kiriwina (Kaibola-Omarakana-Losuia)-Kokopo-Rabaul-Duke of York-Byrona Strait-Au-Bagabag-Madang. Most of this trail I have marked by Holux GPS. If anyone needs info pls contact me.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 08, 2015 05:47 PM

Read about SY INTI's project to distribute donated school supplies to remote areas in PNG and the Solomons adjacent, under "related news". If you are planning on cruising this part of the South Pacific, you can help.

simonbuk
simonbuk says:
Sep 17, 2015 07:52 AM

Hi Sue, thanks for your response. After being told that I could, then I couldn't by the same person in PNG consulate in Brisbane I found out that you can't get one on arrival if your arrive by yacht. Or you might but they would have to send it to Port Morseby and back. I have just got a visa in Brisbane, took a couple of weeks and a dozen emails to sort it out.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 01, 2015 07:39 AM

Hi Simon, as far as noonsite is aware, visitors arriving by yacht in PNG can only obtain visas on arrival at designated international port of entry, i.e. Port Moresby, Rabaul or Daru.

simonbuk
simonbuk says:
Aug 28, 2015 02:52 AM

Does anybody know whether you can obtain a visa on arrival if you arrive by boat into Bouganville ? I am a UK national.

Meillia Kee
Meillia Kee says:
Feb 08, 2015 12:52 PM

We sailed briefly through the P.N.G with our three kids aged 9,7 and 6 in Oct and Nov 2014. We had no difficulties. Please note we stopped at very few places due to time pressures. We used SV Totem's map to plan our route and followed the same precautions as in the Solomons. We stayed away from the mainland and bigger towns. We cleared in at Kavieng which was a very very simple straight forward process. We listened to advice from locals about where to anchor, where to leave our dinghy, that kind of thing and once again, as in the Solomons, either we were in the right places or we were lucky but we never had any cause for concern leaving our boat or at night. A major highlight was the Hermit Islands. If you go there stock up on bath towels as that was a item high on the ladies trading list when we visited! Clearance from Vanimo was relatively smooth.
A note on malaria precautions. If you wish to take meds doxycyclone for adults is available in many places but not Larium (or anything else) for kids. We got a prescription from a hospital doctor in Suva, Fiji. I thought we could get a repeat in Indonesia but it has proved impossible. We were kindly given some malaria tester kits that you can buy online by another 'kid boat'. We also brought treatment meds in Kavieng that were recommended by the guys at Nusa Resort. The pharmacist was great as she made up little kits for each member of the family with the correct doses for each person. So, we try to avoid being bitten by using deet lotion (called "Autan" in Papua and Maluku), long sleeves and trousers in the evening, trying to be back on board before dusk and mossie nets.
We enjoyed our short time P.N.G and are keen to return and spend much longer there.

Sherrinthesea
Sherrinthesea says:
Nov 29, 2014 05:29 AM

Correct Procedure for Entrance Clearance in Rabaul/Kokopo.
It is very important that yachts follow the proper procedure for clearing into PNG through Kokopo/Rabaul. You must anchor by Rabaul so that Quarantine inspection can be carried out before you are cleared in with Immigration and Customs in Kokopo. The authorities are extremely concerned that yachts are not adhering to the correct procedures. The Quarantine man, Peter Johnson, said the best thing to do is to go to the Yacht Club and they will help yachts do things the right way. There was talk of fining us and another yacht who had not done things the wrong way round too. Rabaul is the official Port of Entry, not Kokopo.

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