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Brazil, Salvador: Clearing In

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 25, 2012 10:35 AM

Published: 2012-06-25 10:35:41
Countries: Brazil

Clearing into Brazil at Salvador is easy, if time-consuming. We were not asked to use an agent for clearance.

The Policia Federal (Immigration) should be visited first, then Customs (Alfandega), which is next door to the Policia Federal. These are both a short distance north of the Terminal Nautico. The Capitania dos Portos is the final visit. This is in the building next to the naval base. Original documents are required in all places and no fees are charged.

The requirement to clear in with Health (Vigilance Sanitaria) has been dropped so you don't have to do this.

We are both British Citizens on a British-registered yacht, so we did not need visas in advance. We were given 90 days, as was the yacht. It is essential that both we and the yacht get extensions before the 90 days period has expired, but this seems to be quite straightforward.

About once every three months, DIREP (Divisao de Repressao ao Contrabando e Descaminho), which deals with contraband and tax evasion, visits the marinas. Every foreign flag vessel is issued with a notice saying that the captain must report to the DIREP headquarters within 5 days, taking all documents with them to show that they have entered the country legally and have complied with all relevant procedures. There are no problems if everything is in order.

DIREP does not visit yachts at anchor; as they do not have a boat.

One factor which emerged in my visit to DIREP (we were in Bahia Marina waiting to have some repair work finished on our mast, so were issued with a notice) is that the owners of foreign-flag vessels which arrive in Brazil with a delivery crew (an no owner on board) must already be in Brazil to meet the vessel on arrival. At least two boats here in Bahia Marina have falled foul of that rule.

I have been told that this is purely an issue in Salvador and that DIREP is not active in other ports of entry. However I must add that, provided yachts follow the rules (check in properly and extend their stays as required), there is no problem at all. The problems arise when boats try to bend the rules. All the officials we've encountered have been very courteous and professional, but few speak any language other than Portuguese (I tried English, French and Spanish).

Linda Lane Thornton
SV Coromandel
19 June 2012