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Cruising Ukraine Official Requirements

By doina — last modified Jul 28, 2007 09:24 PM

Published: 2007-07-28 21:24:30
Countries: Ukraine

We (US and EU citizens on US sailboat "Malandro") have been cruising the Black Sea including Ukraine June 2007. Here is up to date information:

Once entered Odessa port - to exit it will not be easy. Right after check in "Port Control authorities" will go through your boat checking fire extinguishers, flares, life jackets, liferaft and if any of it has expired, regular checks not performed or anything else (according to Ukrainian requirements) - they do not let you out of port.

But even to go to the next port inside Ukraine teritorial waters you need:

  • Health declaration
  • Ecology declaration -2pcs
  • Crew list -4pcs
  • General declaration-2pcs
  • Cargo declaration-2pcs
  • Crew money list-1pcs
  • Declaration "no strangers on board"- 2pcs
  • Declaration "no guns, drugs, narcotics"
  • Copy of ships documents -1pcs

and a lot of patience to run from one official to another - it will take you at least 3 hours, so start it early!

While sailing from Odessa to Sevastopol (Crimea) we have crossed a gap in teritorial waters - sailed just 12.8 miles offshore - this resulted in 3 hours tied to a coastguard powerboat, lots of explanations on paper charts, protocols, explanation letters, translators from the shore on another power boat and ended up in administrative court with 120Eur fine for "crossing territorial waters border".

Along the coastline heading to Crimea every 1 - 2 hours a coastal station will call you and you have to report name of the sailboat, registration port, route, crew on board etc. (at least 6 times within 160 miles).

At the end even the officials will say to you "sorry about it, but Ukraine is definitely not a cruising ground".

If you still intend to visit - go by land, airplane, but do not run into troubles with your own boat. In the sea it is still Soviet times rules from "cold war" times. And in Sevastopol main square you can even see the old train and on the side is written: "Death to fascism".

Vitalis Avik (back to Baltic via airplane)

John Torgersen (Captain, still trying to check out of Ukraine)

Mark DeMeyer