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Chile - Bio-Security

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Our thanks to Raúl Zapata, Frank Holden and  SV Zephyros for assisting with border information throughout the Pandemic.


  • Chile Ministry of Health Webpage:
  • Chile Tourist Board Webpage:
  • See report here (November 22, 2021) from a yacht that entered Puerto Williams en-route to Antarctica from Brazil after having engine problems. They were granted a limited permit for the duration of their repairs only.


  • At the start of the pandemic, given that Chile is a remote destination for cruisers, it was expected that, in general, an infected person would present symptoms of the disease prior to arriving to Chilean ports and no crew member would be coming from high-risk countries. Consequently there were no restrictions on yachts entering Chilean ports.
  • Chile closed its borders (including  maritime) to foreigners on 18 March, 2020. Yachts in the Cape Horn region in southern Chile were not crossing the border to or from Argentine anymore. Cruise ships were not authorized to stop in Chilean ports.
  • Foreign yachts that stayed in Chile when borders closed were free to move around.
  • All ports accepted transiting vessels that required emergency assistance or support.
  • The three international airports in Chile; Iquique, Antofagasta and Santiago, re-opened on 1 October.
  • Mid-month the port of Valdivia reported that entry was now possible for yachts. However, maritime borders remain closed and as far as we know, all other ports remain closed.
  • From 1 December Valdivia was closed to yacht entry due to Omnicrom.
  • Chile opened its land and air borders at the start of May 2022 and its maritime borders at the end of May 2022.

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Chile was last updated 2 weeks ago.

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  1. July 20, 2023 at 10:16 PM
    Frank Holden says:

    Antofagasta update.
    Entered Chile at Antofagasta on Good Friday , 7th April, 2023 – Last port Ecuador. Had advised Armada and SAG of ETA – as required by email. Armada and SAG attended on board. Driven down to the Aduana office at the entrance to the commercial port and then had to attend Immigracion at their offices across the road from the marina entrance. No charge for any services.
    Side note – only a three month temprary admission was issued, this was an error and it was automatically extended to 12 months when I went to renew it.
    Frank Holden
    Westerly Serenade

  2. February 1, 2022 at 11:33 PM
    swan65cdlgmail-com says:

    The hassles boats are having in Puerto Williams is hard to understand.
    Chile welcomed us on Christmas Eve.

    We came sailing in to Puerto Montt from French Polynesia on December 24, 2021.
    Before leaving Tahiti we had communicated with the manager of Marina del Sur and were assured that we would not have any trouble.
    We had of course proof of a negative test and were fully vaccinated.
    Three hours after our arrival we were fully cleared in.
    We are now cruising the Chilean fjords with a zarpe that clears us all the way to Puerto Williams by the end of February.

    Oh, and NZ gas bottles can be filled without a problem in Puerto Montt.
    This guy has all imaginable fittings.
    Call Santibanez +56982121705


  3. January 24, 2022 at 11:50 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Here is an update as of Jan 20th for Puerto Williams and Ushuaia:

    Ushuaia is open for arrivals and a number of boats including us have cleared in with no issues over the past couple of weeks. PCR test, health insurance and electronic affidavit are required but we were not required to quarantine once the PCR result was received. The lack of quarantine may have been a special case because we traveled from Puerto Williams. Cases of omicron are currently quite high in Ushuaia so this could change at any time but officials in Ushuaia have reported that unless things get much worse the port will be open for the remainder of the Antarctic season.

    Puerto Willians (and all Chilean ports) are currently closed with very few exceptions. 72 hour humanitarian stops are still allowed for food and fuel but here in Puerto Williams even those requests are sometimes being turned down because Ushuaia is open 20 nm to the west. Officials in Puerto Williams would prefer the port to be open and want to help yachts but health controls have tied their hands. There are still Chilean residents waiting to return to Puerto Williams from Ushuaia who have been stuck since the beginning of the pandemic. Given the slow increase in Covid numbers throughout Chile, it is not expected that anything will change before winter arrives in a few months. Most foreign boats departing for Antarctica this year from Puerto Williams will not be allowed to return.
    For boats considering sailing into the Pacific, it is possible to receive permission for an “innocent passage” north through the channels after provisioning in Ushuaia. Given Chile’s long coastline and mixed reports of difficulties stopping even for fuel and provisions north Puerto Williams it would be difficult to recommend at this time.

    Gary and Karina
    SV Sea Rover II

  4. November 22, 2021 at 4:13 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    SV Sea Wind, en-route to Antarctica, managed to stop in Chile and gain entry permission. Here is their feedback:

    We did know that Chile’s sea borders were closed (as was Brazil when we left from Gambia) but we were on a mission (to get to Antarctica) and we had to make at least a stopover in Chile. We were hoping for the best and it paid off.

    As far as we understand we are the first foreign boat that has been accepted since the pandemic. First it was no, then we claimed to have some issues with the the boat (always a good starting point) then they promised to try to workout a special limited permission for a short time and a day later we received a full entry acceptance for the normal three months with no limitations. Hallelujah!

    At first it did not look so promising. After a night passing through the Beagle channel in strong counter current and in the end gale force winds, we were called by Puerto Williams port control on the radio at 4 am announcing that the port was closed and we could not leave the boat. I replied that we were too tired to discuss the matter so could it please wait until later. We got a few hours sleep

    And then the port captain called and asked us to come ashore for the traditional formalities. Once again we were told that the port was closed [Puerto Williams is an isolated small community on an island], but maybe they could give us a limited special permission to stay a short time. They left with our passports, boat papers, Covid vaccine certificates and negative PCR tests from our last port in Brazil.

    We did not expect any response until after the weekend, but the next day they called us on the radio to come ashore for instructions. Hmm, is this good or bad we thought. Very good it turned out. We had received full acceptance with no restrictions for the first three months. It felt absolutely unbelievable.

    However, we don’t consider this to be the new rule and count ourselves very lucky. On the other hand we do believe being fully vaccinated with certificates and having a fresh PCR test from our last port definitiely helped In the process.

    We cannot express how grateful we are. During this process we have received so much help and support from our new friend Denis, introduced to us by Andreas Viltfjäll (another Swedish sailor who was here with s/v Nemo of Sweden many years ago). Denis met us on the dock the first day and has since been a source of endless help with food, diesel, telephone SIM cards etc. when we were not allowed to go ashore.

    In conclusion if you are prepared to be refused it’s worth a shot. The fact that we came in does not constitute a new rule yet. Our plan B was to turn around and sail to Port Stanley in the Falklands.

    The world is full of amazing people. That’s a fact that never stops to strike us wherever we go.
    Thank you Andreas, thank you Denis and thank you to the people of Chile.

    1. November 25, 2021 at 8:44 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      A subsequent update from Sea Wind:

      Chile, and in particular Puerto Williams, is still very closed. We had a meeting today with the Armada and Immigration. It was more or less a misunderstanding between the authorities that allowed us to enter and stay. They shouldn’t have done that.
      So to avoid any complications for other vessel and crews the message is the border is closed!
      We have now only a limited permit and must leave as soon as our “repairs” are done.

  5. October 26, 2021 at 11:08 PM
    michaeldberry says:

    Hello, I’ve been surfing all the sites available for information re a maritime entry and to no avail, at this time, there is little or no information. As a US flagged vessel, trying to get an account as advised is impossible due to the system not allowing the USA as a country of origin to be entered.
    I’ve written several emails to various agencies and only one replied, the tourism agency, directed me to the Naval site which has not responded.
    One saving grace is that the RCC Pacific Crossing Guide has email addresses for yacht clubs.

    1. November 22, 2021 at 4:02 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Michael – see the biosecurity section for the latest re. borders and possible options.

  6. January 17, 2020 at 11:54 PM
    SailingTribe says:

    Hello. We are about to round Cape Horn, coming straight from Auckland, NZ and heading to Puerto Williams. We already sent the Arrival Announcement to SAG & Armada, but we were wondering if we need to report to someone additionally – prior or upon rounding Horn, since we will not stop until Puerto Williams? Any experience / advice is most appreciated. 🙂

    1. January 23, 2020 at 6:05 PM
      frankdh says:

      The Armada have Alcamars ( Coast Stations ) at various points around the coast.
      Call up ‘Alcamar Cabo de Hornos’ on VHF Ch 16 when in range. The only other one you will probably have to talk to between there and Williams is ‘Isla Snipe’.

  7. September 8, 2019 at 3:31 PM
    frankdh says:

    The Puerto Montt Propane Problem.
    I have propane tanks with Aus/NZ/US/Can fittings and have had these filled in Puerto Montt, Antofagasta, and Puerto Williams. I have also heard on good authority that they can be filled at Awolplast, Valdivia.

    While that same fitting is used in Chile it is only used on the large commercial/domestic tanks and not on the smaller tanks.

    For many years sailors in P. Montt got around that problem by decanting from a chilean tank but this is … not unsurprisingly… now forbidden in all the marinas.

    The situation at present is that the management in Club Nautico Reloncavi can arrange for a chap, a taxi driver, who will collect your tanks, take them to a depot on the far side of town for filling, and return them a few hours later.

    The problem is the cost. While the cost of 5 litres of propane is currently about CH$8,000 you will be charged CH$17,500 in total which covers the taxi fare there and back. Two 5kg tanks?….. CH$35,000!

    Very expensive but sadly it is the only game in town….

  8. May 15, 2019 at 9:11 PM
    frankdh says:

    Since 2017 the Magallanes region of Chile – effectively Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, and Puerto Williams -have been keeping ‘Summer Time’ i.e. GMT – 3 hours throughout the year.

  9. February 2, 2018 at 11:37 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    In January 2018 we arrived in Chile (Puerto Montt) and were concerned about what onboard provisions would be removed (by the Health inspector). We were greatly relieved when ALL our dried food (chickpeas, lentils, spices, nuts) were considered OK, and even our one bottle of honey was OK (the officer explained he would only confiscate the honey if there were several bottles).

    All our tinned fish/meats were OK, our butter (in the fridge) and cheese (in the fridge) OK. We had already used up our fresh provisions, but I believe any fresh fruits, veg, and eggs would have been removed (if we had had any).

  10. February 2, 2018 at 11:16 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Email to SAG required prior to arrival in Chile (Puerto Montt, possibly other areas).

    We arrived in Chile (Puerto Montt) from NZ in late January 2018. We had completed all the SAG paperwork indicated and had it printed out and ready, and had emailed in advance the notifications of our ETA to the local and national Armada – we thought we’d done everything required.

    However, on our SAG inspection, we were given a citation for not having complied with the rule that we should have reported in advance of our arrival all countries visited in the last 24 months (with dates). We could find nothing that indicated this was required of us online (unless this was a rule based on an invasive moth and we’d visited Korea/China/Japan areas during their egg laying season?) – but we were requested to appear at a hearing (which turned out to be just hanging out in the lobby to hand over our ‘apology’ letter) – this was a big worry, requiring a visit to an office somewhat out of town, and an extra day of officialdom we weren’t expecting..

    To avoid this, we suggest those following in our footsteps and entering the country via Puerto Montt – email their last 24 months of countries (with dates) to the SAG offices (and have their log books available to inspect).

    So 48 hours before you arrive (we were told both 24 and 48 hours – so play safe and make it 48 hours – and in addition to the Armada emails) – send an email to SAG listing your last 24 months of countries visited (along with your boat name, and details). For Puerto Montt arrivals we were told this info must be sent to these two email addresses:


    I’m not sure if other ports enforce this rule, but other emails can be found at the SAG website (

    • SAG website – (for maritime transport) shows a form (el Aviso de Recalada de Nave) for which the link does not function, so we were unable to print/view it.
    • We checked the SAG website and found no mention of the requirement except with regard to the “gipsy moth Asian race (PGRA)” (Resolución 4412 EXENTA). And our understanding is that this rule did not apply to us since we have not been in the infected areas (but we could not convince SAG of this).

  11. March 18, 2016 at 10:39 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    I delivered a 72-foot power vessel from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Coquimbo, Chile. My zarpe was from La Salinas, Ecuador to Arica, Chile. My final destination was Coquimbo, Chile and most of my crew were Chileans.

    The Port Captain, Immigration officer, Doctor and Agricultural Inspector came out to the boat. The vessels new home was to be Coquimbo, Chile.

    They did not charge me for all the inspections at the time, but when I arrived in Coquimbo I received a bill for $450 US. The agricultural inspector had me sign a document which stated that the fruit and vegetables would be consumed on the vessel and not removed from the vessel (otherwise stiff fines and penalties would occur).

  12. March 16, 2016 at 12:23 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Sept 2015 A $250US fee to in inspecting boat for fruits and vegetables anything in the freezer was not of concern. They did not confiscate four tomatoes six potatoes and two lemons.

  13. January 27, 2016 at 12:03 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Our thanks to Henk Boersma for these updates.

    Puerto Williams Update:

    Recently the “SAG” (these are the people responsible for avoiding alien flora and fauna arriving on Chilean soil) started implementing a law that no fresh fruit, vegetables or meat can be brought into the country. All will be confiscated and destroyed. Threats with fines for not complying are in the air.

    For years this has been the rule in the rest of the country, however now PW is included as well which doesn’t make sense. Maybe it will blow over.
    For the charter boats that do their shopping in Ushuaia (Argentina), this new rule forces a change of plan… The problem is of course, that there are no reliable supplies in Puerto Williams!

    Ushuaia Update:
    All is quiet on the customs front, apart from some issues which involved Argentine sailors with foreign flagged boats. They are still fussy about arriving or going to the Falklands without a permit.

    Cruising the Beagle Channel
    For cruising the Beagle Channel as far as Staten Island, no zarpe is required for trips to Lapataia and Islas Bridges but the Prefectura must be notified before you leave with the details of your trip. Anywhere further out, and you must pay a visit to the Prefectura for a zarpe.

  14. January 11, 2016 at 3:01 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Important update: as of Jan. 2016 Chile has quarantine laws almost as strict as those of Australia/New Zealand: no meat/fruit/vegetables/dairy products/honey etc.etc.

    (and yes that includes stocking up in Ushuaia Argentina for a trip to Cape Horn Chile…)

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