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By No owner — last modified Sep 08, 2017 10:41 PM

 St Helena - Formalities

Clearance

Formalities here are simple, but should be done in working hours. No overtime is charged, but clearance on weekends is only done by arrangement.

It is advisable to read Information for Yachts before visiting the island.

Prior to Arrival
David Caswell, the Harbour Master at St. Helena, asks if yachts will please e-mail him 24 hours in advance of arrival. Not only can he allocate you a mooring buoy, but they will arrange to clear you in. Office hours are 0830-1600 on week-days, however officials will come out during the weekend to clear boats in at no extra charge.

E-mail: [email protected]

On Approach
When 10 to 20 nautical miles from James Bay, call St. Helena Radio on VHF channel 16 and announce your impending arrival and ETA in James Bay and request Clearance.

Fly the Q flag until clearance has been completed.

Yachts may be boarded by Port Authority/Immigration/Customs officers or you may be directed to report ashore at an appointed time.

The visitors’ moorings are allocated by the Harbourmaster. Should you arrive during normal working hours, try calling on VHF Channel 14 and speak to him directly as you arrive.

The Harbourmaster will direct you to one of the numbered moorings, dependent on your LOA and tonnage.

If you arrive out of hours or have difficulty contacting the Harbourmaster, inform St Helena Radio who will assist you in making contact. Should you arrive during the night and the Harbourmaster is not available, you may pick up any free red/yellow buoy until morning. You will find a 25mm galvanised mooring ring on the buoy, to which you should attach your own mooring lines.

Please note that only the Harbourmaster or Assistant Harbourmaster are empowered to allocate or direct yachts to a particular mooring. St Helena Radio, Police Officers, Immigration Officers or Customs Officers  may give directions in an emergency. Do not take directions from any other person.

See Jamestown Docking for detailed information on the mooring field and anchoring options. Care should be taken to approach the field from the West and not through the local boats due to a large number of substantial mooring lines and painters for the local fishing boats. If arriving at night be aware that local boats, either at anchor or on moorings, do not show any lights.

Checking In

The Immigration office is in police station in the town about 1km from the wharf landing steps. Opening times are Monday to Friday from 08.00hrs to 16.00hrs.

St. Helena Port Control can be contacted on VHF Channel 14 and is situated on the wharf in the same building as Customs (white building with a clock tower next to the pool). The office opening times are Monday to Friday from 08.30hrs to 16.00hrs.

If you arrive outside of these hours you may be required to stay on board your vessel until the offices re-open which may mean remaining on board overnight.  On call arrangements are in place on weekends.

See Jamestown Docking for information on getting ashore by ferry.

As a special concession, no fees (except light dues) are charged if staying less than 72 hours. See Fees for details.

Health Insurance
You need a copy of your health insurance certificate for Immigration. If you require insurance, it can be purchased locally at Solomons’ Insurance Office.

Checking Out

All visitors must check out with Customs and Immigration before leaving the island. If leaving on the weekend the checking out procedure must be completed on the Friday before departure see office hours at top).

Last updated June 2017.

Port Control
(Assistant Harbour Master)
Tel:+290 22825 ,VHF Channel 14

Immigration

Visitors to the island may be permitted to stay for up to 183 days on a Short Term Entry Permit provided that the following requirements have been met and you can satisfy the immigration officer (through relevant documentation) that you have:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.
  • Proof of medical insurance which includes the cost of evacuation. If you are not in possession of valid medical insurance it is possible to purchase it on island from Solomon’s Insurance Brokers open Mon-Sat.
  • Proof of adequate funds for the duration of stay

As a special concession no fee is payable if your yacht is staying less than 72 hours. After this time charges do apply. See Fees.

For any immigration query or to check the adequacy of your documentation please use the contact details below.

Last updated February 2017.

Immigration Office
Ogborn House, Grand Parade
Tel:+290 22626

Customs

Arrival
On arrival in St. Helena you will be required to complete a Customs ‘Master’s Declaration’ form for inward clearance. Customs will ask to have sight of your original registration documentation and your clearance outwards document from the last port of call. A crew list is required and if carrying passengers, a passenger list will also be required.

You should arrange Customs clearance outwards before your departure from St. Helena. Normal office opening hours as stated above. Out of office hours attendance are available and can be arranged via St. Helena Port Control or direct with Customs.

There is no customs clearance fee.

Firearms will be placed under customs seal for the duration of the stay.

Spearguns and scuba gear are not to be used during the stay unless accompanied by a qualified diver. There are strict laws for the protection of the underwater environment, but visitors who wish to dive can arrange an excursion with a local Island Dive Club - see Jamestown Diving for details.

It is prohibited to land honey, fresh produce or plant material. Even honey jars must be thoroughly cleaned on board with bleach before being double bagged for disposal.

Bins are available on the wharf for the disposal of waste which much be double bagged and securely tied.

Shoes, bags and hiking equipment must be thoroughly cleaned of mud and seeds before landing.

Last updated June 2017.

Customs
Tel:+290 22287

Health

Yellow fever vaccination is required if coming from parts of Africa where yellow fever is prevalent.

All visitors must carry health insurance that covers the cost of evacuation (up to £40,000) in the event of serious injury. It can be purchased locally for £1.30 per person per day. Lacking evidence of such, you will only be permitted to stay for 48 hours.

Although currently commercial flights are not operating from the  airport, medevac flights are possible.

There is a small (54 bed) well-equipped General Hospital, a Dental Surgery and a Community Clinic in Jamestown. There are also six rural health clinics around the island, regularly visited by the doctors, dentist and community nurses.

There is no National Health Service and local residents pay for all medical treatment. Rates for medical and dental attention are divided into three rates:
· Non British passport holders
· British passport holders
· Residents rates

You MUST have proof of your passport when seeking medical care. Please contact the Tourist Office for further information on medical and dental fees and charges or call the St Helena General Hospital on 2500.

Last updated July 2016.

Fees

Short Stay Entry Permit
Fee applicable for all persons over 12 years:

Immigration Fee: Up to 183 days - GB £20.00

The above fees are payable on arrival and payment can be made in local or sterling currency (or by Visa or Master card with a 6% commission charge added).

This fee is not charged for the crew of yachts visiting for 72 hours or less.

The fees are correct at at 10th July 2018 but are reviewed in April every year.

Harbour Fee

A  fee of £35 is payable by all vessels on arrival (whether on a mooring or anchoring) which covers the first month. Subsequent months will be charged at £10 per month.

Mooring Fee
The first day is free. Every day after, will be charged the sum of £2 (yellow buoy up to 25 tonnes) or £3 (red buoy up to 35 tonnes) per day.  (see Jamestown Docking for more information).

Other
There is no customs clearance fee.
The ferry service costs £1.50 or £2/pp/each way (depending on the time of day).

Insurance
Proof of Medical insurance is required. It can be purchased through Solomon and co. if required.

Last updated July 2018.

Pets

Animals, plants, vegetables and fruit are prohibited without proper import documentation and must not be brought ashore.

angela smith
angela smith says:
Jul 17, 2018 03:16 PM

Stop over between Cape Town South Africa to Salvador Brazil. Not a cheap stopover at all, rather the opposite. Country currency is British Pounds.

Formalities example landing fees, mooring fees, customs ect etc was way over 200£. Then you have to use the local ferry from your boat to shore at 2£ per person return trip. Operates from 8am to 6pm daily. They are supposed to work until 8pm but say NO, when you ask. So no late returns to boat.

Food supplies- don't count on it. Make sure you have provisioned enough to complete your crossing. Don't even count on fresh bread, fruit & veg. If you find it's an added bonus and you extremely lucky.

Alcohol - most alcohol comes in from South Africa, but at triple the price. Stock your boat to the brim for the entire crossing .

Banking - no atm. You draw money from a bank teller with between 15 to 20£ handling fee on each transaction. No shop on the island accepts cards of any sort.

Community - wow what a beautiful friendly community. They go out of their way to great. Your go to place on the island is Ann's place. You need assistance with anything you ask for help at Ann's place. Sadly we only learnt that the day before we were leaving.

Car rental on the island is cheap. We used Brendan, he went the extra mile for us. We were charged 15£ a day no hidden costs. He delivered and collected the car with no extra charge. Please support him.

Jacob's ladder, is a must do. 699 steps, you can do it you just need to find a rhythm. At the top about 300 meters down that road you will find Rosies restaurant, its another must visit. Once you filled up with food and beer, walking down the 699 steps comes naturally.I did it in 5 min down. I met a gent in his late 60's heading up. His time is 13min up.

The island is rich in history and a really must see so rent a car and get out into the island.

Oops almost forgot - washing. Yes it can be done but at a price. Saying that it was worth every £. We did the wash and fold option. The clothing came back looking like it was ironed. It's a serious up hill walk to the company again arrange with Ann's place for collection /delivery.

Yacht Club - I would prefer not to comment and sound negative. Sad as so much can and should be done to make visiting yachts feel more welcome.

angela smith
angela smith says:
Jul 17, 2018 07:30 PM

Great write up Sam. Slow down so we can catch up.

Samuel Goldenbaum
Samuel Goldenbaum says:
Jul 02, 2018 06:50 PM

A welcome stop for those on transatlantic passages, St Helena is a beautiful and curious island. Moorings are well maintained and while the anchorage can roll a little at times, it was really pleasant and able to swim off the back of the boat in clear water to view local marine life. We met a very large and friendly manta ray and had fish around the boat most times.

The dingy dock is across the local anchorage and best to use ferry service in and out. Our tender miraculously disappeared one night from the dock, but locals will insist there is no theft on St Helena - even after this was the third incident in recent months. The ferry service is not cheap at 2 GBP and runs hourly till 6pm. This is rather unfortunate as you cannot get back from town after dinner. The ferryman can get rather irate if people are not on schedule or request a pickup outside of the hourly schedule so best to plan around that.

Check in is fairly straightforward, but does require a trip across town as immigration is now housed at the new police station. The small town is really quaint and people are friendly and helpful. Fuel is easily arranged via the Solomans company and water is available at the main dock. No stores accept credit cards and best to use GPB. WiFi must be the most expensive in the world and is charged by the minute at 13 GBP. It’s slow and cell [mobile] phone connection around the island is intermittent and poor - no reception at the cruiser’s anchorage. Fresh vegetables and eggs are rare to come by, and typically come to town once a week on Thursdays - grab what you can when you can. Most spares and parts are all flown in from South Africa or the UK. Flights from South Africa arrived once a week.

Logistics aside, St Helena was surprisingly beautiful and a trip into the island's interior is a must. It has verdant hills, green pastures, lush rainforest and arid, rock-strewn hills all in one. Diving is great and Craig at Into the Blue is patient and professional. Hazel and Peter at the consulate hotel provide a warm welcome for cruisers. While there is a yacht services company, the majority of our interactions were confusing and unpleasant resulting in pretentious lectures by the owner and recounts of his recent circumnavigation. We were not exactly sure what was being offered other than recounts of their voyage and best to clarify exactly what services are provided and the associated costs before making any assumptions and avoid unpleasantries. They did however assist in catching our catamaran after the Mantus mooring carabiner failed and she drifted. We spent 3 weeks in St Helena while waiting for a new wind transducer and really enjoyed our time there, but 1 week would have been more than sufficient for us.

Blackie
Blackie says:
Sep 01, 2017 11:02 AM

Visited there in June 2017 - Harbour dues 35GPB, mooring ball 2GBP per day, Ferry service 2GBP return trip payable at the end of your stay and Immigration was 17GBP per person. Fuel is delivered to the boats at 1,27GBP per litre. We stayed a month, hired a car and really enjoyed the hospitality of everyone especially Hazel, the owner of the Consulate Hotel.

haiqu
haiqu says:
Mar 08, 2017 03:59 PM

According to Webb Chiles' journal of March 7th 2017:

"I like St. Helena very much. It is remote, quaint, and unchanged ashore from when I was here in 1988. An airport has been built at a cost of more than three hundred million dollars and was supposed to open last year, but almost unbelievably they built it in the wrong place, on the edge of the cliffs on the windward side of the island where turbulence from the trade winds meeting those cliffs makes landings and takeoffs unacceptably dangerous. How such a mistake could be made by presumably professionals boggles the mind. In any event, when any of the 4,000 residents of St. Helena see an unfamiliar face they still know you’ve sailed there on your own and are charmingly friendly."

Doesn't look as if the airport situation will be solved any time soon.

Jack Dale
Jack Dale says:
Oct 23, 2015 09:59 PM

Rather than changing currency in St Helena, bring British pounds which are accepted and are way easier to convert to another currency after you have departed.

Everything is pretty such cash. Not able to use credit cards or debit.

wapiti
wapiti says:
Oct 25, 2014 02:35 PM

Update notes for St. Helena.

Immigration is a flat fee of 17GBP for up to 183 days.

If the ferry service is used after hours there is an additional fee of 10GBP payable.

If you want to see some of the island there is a lovely lady called Val Joshua tel: 22235 who loves walking and is glad to take people for serious walks. She is a mine of information. She does not charge and she may not be available. She doesn't like to take more than 4 people.

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