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Thailand - Bio-Security

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COVID-19: OPEN

Yachting Protocols:

October 2022

  • Effective from October 1st, 2022, all Covid-related entry restrictions have been lifted.
  • An agent is no longer mandatory for checking into or out of the country.
  • See Clearance for full details.

Our thanks to Porntip Logistics, Asia Pacific Superyachts, Anthony Swanston, Bob Mott, Port Takola and Bangkok Insurance Brokers Company, for providing updates throughout the Pandemic.

Resources:

History: 

  • From March 12, 2020 visas on arrival and visa exemptions were suspended for a number of countries and all visitors were required to have a health certificate stating they did not have COVID-19, along with medical insurance covering the disease.
  • On March 26, 2020, a State of Emergency was declared which included a ban of foreigners entering Thailand including recreational/pleasure yachts. All borders closed and all international flights were stopped.
  • The Thai Government did grant visa amnesty to foreigners unable to leave Thailand due to the pandemic.
  • Borders opened once again at the start of November, 2020.
  • On November 1st, 2020, following extensive efforts by the Thai Yachting Business Association (TYBA) and its members, the centre for Covid-19 situation administration agreed to allow pleasure yachts to once again enter the country with quarantine [Onboard Quarantine on Yachts Approved.]
  • It did, however, take a couple of weeks before yachting protocols were finalized and yachts could successfully enter the country.
  • On 9th December 2020, the Thai Cabinet approved a 30 days special allowance that gave a Special Tourist Visa (STV) on arrival to crew and passengers of visiting yachts allowing a stay in Thailand up-to 270 days.
  • During April 2021 quarantine was reduced to 10 days and then put back up to 14 days.
  • October 1st vaccinated travelers only had to quarantine for 7 days on arrival.
  • November 1st quarantine was lifted for fully vaccinated foreign visitors arriving by air from approved countries – making it easier for stranded yacht owners wanting to get back into Thailand to re-join their yachts.
  • From March 2022 entry rules were relaxed and yachts from all countries were accepted with protocols in place for both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
  • April 1st, 2022, pre-travel testing requirements were removed.
  • May 1st, 2022, Test & Go and Sandbox programs were suspended. All testing requirements removed for vaccinated travelers.
  • July 1st, 2022, Insurance and Thailand pass requirements removed, plus COE. Vaccination certificate or on-arrival testing only requirement.
  • 1 October, 2022, all restrictions were lifted.

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  1. March 5, 2023 at 8:55 AM
    captain_T says:

    Is there some detailed information to sign in/out of Ao Chalong?
    Do you need a gent or does it work easily enough to step into the office to clear out.
    I keep hearing about the website but wasn’t able to find it.
    Any help is appreaciated.
    Carpe Diem

    1. March 13, 2023 at 1:34 PM
      profile photo
      Sue Richards says:

      Hello Captain T, use of an agent is no longer mandatory now that Covid restrictions have all been lifted. Clearance is very straightforward at Ao Chalong pier, all this information is on Noonsite. Go to the Phuket page – https://www.noonsite.com/place/thailand/phuket-island/

  2. December 7, 2022 at 1:38 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by Bob Mott:
    A timely warning to be observant and beware of money changer booths in Phuket. I was in Chalong a week ago to exchange US and Singapore currency. The attendant systematically counted and recounted the notes and checked them. Took a long time. Then he took a long time counting out the Baht. Keeps me waiting. He thought I would just rush off, having been there so long standing in the sun and possibly being a silly old fool of 68 and “Farang”. End of the story is that I counted the notes in front of him and there was 5,000B missing from the 100,000B to be paid. Now 1 note missing I could believe was a mistake – but not 5! He calmly counted again and took another 5,000B out and showed the 5 clearly fanned out in his hand. No emotion, no I am sorry. A true professional thief operating a money exchange booth.

  3. November 7, 2022 at 2:03 AM
    freddy says:

    SEAL Superyacht – best NOT to use!
    It may be possible that there are different regulations in Phuket and Krabi. We asked SEAL Superyacht agency that it is necessary to use an agent. They said yes, but in October 2022 this was not correct. They send us a bill with “official” costs from health and customs and more. We paid them 400 Euro for inbound clearance to Phuket. Additionally they want to have a LOT of (stupid) documents like temperature log and more.
    We asked in Krabi how the clearance procedure works. You ONLY need prove of vaccination, then you can sail directly to Krabi and do the paperwork there! Even we already paid Seal Superyacht we decided to go directly to Krabi. Total costs of inbound clearance 5 Euro!! Very smooth the process. The “official costs” from Phuket are not existing (in Krabi).
    We are in Krabi Port Takola marina now, we can highly recommend for reasonable prices and helpfull staff!

    Freddy

  4. November 2, 2022 at 7:15 PM
    lyndalim says:

    Reported by Anthony Swanston: For Inter-Provincial Clearances

    Dear Noonsite

    Your recent newsletter spoke of the need for Inter Provincial Clearance in Thailand. This is absolutely correct and I can confirm that I have seen this being enforced. However the cumbersome paperwork needed to complete this can be easily avoided by using an agent who can do everything online (which a private individual cannot do). The agents authorized are listed under Phuket – Clearance – Related Businesses. They are Seal Superyachts, Asia Pacific Superyachts, and Porntip Logistics. Porntip charged me BHT 1,500 (about 35 pounds Sterling) A lot better than all of that running around, especially Phang Nga where you would really need a helicopter as the offices are so remote.

    Anthony
    sv Wild Fox

  5. October 5, 2022 at 9:44 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by Bob Mott: For Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga provinces.

    This happened a few days back. The yacht I helped deliver from Seychelles to Phuket recently checked out of Phuket and moved to Krabi – Port Takola Marina.

    The owner was advised he needed to check out of Phuket and that he could do it online. He tried and his Thai wife tried with no success. He then went to the relevant office on the pier Chalong and did the form on their computer with assistance. All well he thought. BUT the girl either didnt know or forgot to tell him he needed to go upstairs to the harbour master’s office and confirm there as well. Filling out the official form was not enough.

    He went to Krabi to the marina and tried to check in and found out the error and was fined 5000B.

    Same applies the other way around and for Phang Nga Province who are even worse with this rule. They have been playing this game for many years where Krabi were much more relaxed. Now money is short they are falling back on ways of extracting money from yachts.

    So yachts have to fill out a form in Phuket and also see the harbour master to clear to go to any other province.

  6. March 12, 2022 at 6:37 AM
    tilly says:

    SEAL Superyacht: Beware of this agency
    Please think twice before engaging with SEAL Superyacht, you really might regret it. We used SEAL Superyacht as an agent to clear into Phuket with our sailing yacht, to organize a visa extension and for the import of goods from China (they literally coaxed us into this service, claiming that without an agent we would have immense problems with Thai customs). Unwarranted charges for services that sometimes even did not exist seem to be a normal source of income for SEAL Superyacht!
    1) They did not provide receipts for alleged payments made in our name to Thai health officials while we had to stay at the quarantine anchorage and refused to refund overpaid money.
    2) They made a quotation for a visa extension service (no show) and later tried to charge extra “staff time” on top of this.
    3) They wanted to rip us off in collaboration with an export-import company, trying to charge for services that did not even exist while refusing to provide receipts for these alleged services. A personal visit to the export-import company cut the cost by more than more than 65% because the company could not provide recipes.
    T. Eichler, SV Lapita

  7. March 2, 2021 at 7:04 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by Anthony Swanston:
    I thought that I would share a bit of research I have done on haul out costs around southern Thailand. All yards charge differently so to keep the comparison simple I have not itemised costs. This is for a 37 foot monohull, haul, pressure wash, cradle, one month on the hardstand then re-launch. All prices in Thai Bhat:-
    Ao Po: 65,600
    Boat Lagoon Phuket: 64,500
    Royal Phuket: 45,500
    Port Takola: 34,600
    PSS Satun: 31,600
    Boat Lagoon Krabi: 31,500

  8. May 1, 2020 at 7:32 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Message from Bob Mott, Thailand:
    WARNING TO YACHTS IN KRABI PROVINCE. Please be aware that Krabi Harbour officials are fining yachts that have not checked into the province from their previous Thailand port. They have been to Port Takola Marina and fined boats 5,000B. This is an existing rule that if you leave one province you need to check out of that province with the harbour department and report on arrival in the new province. Krabi in the past have not imposed this rule but tough times and the virus and lack of income would have given them a nudge to do so. Phang Nga province has been enforcing this rule for some time and I believe the fines are even higher possibly double. The issue there is that the office to report to is in Phang Nga Town many kilometres from the anchorages by road transport. All Thailand provinces can apply this rule if they want to.

  9. March 13, 2020 at 1:04 PM
    svzephyr44 says:

    If one is arriving Phuket from Malaysia are there any special clearance procedures.

    1. March 16, 2020 at 12:40 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Roger – always review a country’s Formalities before arrival – in this case Thailand Formalities at https://www.noonsite.com/place/thailand/formalities. Also be sure to review the Phuket page – clearance section at https://www.noonsite.com/place/thailand/phuket-island/ – as there are specific procedures unique to Phuket. Do also check the biosecurity check for COVID-19 restrictions in place – https://www.noonsite.com/place/thailand/formalities#biosecurity-section.

  10. September 28, 2019 at 11:59 AM
    lifeliner says:

    I have just sent the last month at Phuket Yacht Haven. I wanted some work done by Mali at Yacht repair who is still a very good carpenter highly recommended.
    I have been here 6 times in 4 years two since Zahara and Nic were removed as Managers. The standards are dropping the prices going up no longer a go to place best avoid it if you can. When I arrived more than 30 yachts anchored out the marina has 60 plus empty berths. Berthing is haphazard I am a 15 metre on a 10 metre berth.
    The Haven has died the management has no idea what a Yachties require. The Super yachts have gone no more external painting refitting allowed.
    No longer recommended gone from a 10 to a basic 5.
    Prices increase another 10% in October. I feel sad for the local contractors whose income has disappeared.
    The dock and dinghy men are barely competent. Sad time for what was the best place in Phuket.

  11. September 14, 2019 at 10:24 AM
    sailhangloose says:

    I am now over a year in Thailand, boat in shipyard. Quality of work is bad – or you pay to get specialists. I started to do a lot myself. That took some time. After having some student and tourist visa I started with visa on arrival and the 30 day extension.
    Just made a “visa run” to vietnam. When I returned thai immigration did no allow a re-entry. I would have too many visa and arrival and should have visa requested outside.
    After a night in a detention cell I was put in a plane an now hoping to get a visa at the embassy here in Ho Chi Minh Citi.
    They smile and they are friendly – but if somebody in that organisation wants to have more retirement visa ..
    It is not a country with law and justice. Remember that before making your decision

  12. September 9, 2019 at 4:12 AM
    alanleonard says:

    Marinas in Phuket are once again increasing berthing rates by about 10%. A comparison shows that it is now more expensive to keep a yacht in Thailand Thanon Australia and the Mediterranean. Add in the visa difficulties ( for both yachts and people), and the invariable poor understanding of yachts and their systems ( not to mention the now very high coats of getting work completed to any acceptable standard) Phuket in particular is no longer a ‘ go to’ place for yachts. Better options are Malaysia and better still Singapore. This for 15 years experience of keeping a yacht in the Far East.

  13. April 22, 2019 at 12:39 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    We cleared in at Kho Life and specifically asked about 2 friends who were planning to fly out from Phuket what to do. We were told no problem, and they were entered as passengers. When they tried to fly out from Phuket, they were refused access to the plane and sent back to Satun province. It was a weekend and everything closed (they had been told it would be open). So they had to wait until after the weekend, pay a bond which they then couldn’t recover.

    So we were penalised for doing the right thing, and, indeed, we were lucky when the authorities in Ao Chalong did not send us and the yacht 120NM back to Kho Lipe to clear out. Other friends trying to clear out in Rangon (headed for Burma) were nearly sent back to Ao Chalong in Phuket – solved by an extra payment.

    So the message is: enter any friends as crew not passengers, only clear in and out of Ao Chalong where they do understand yachts, and cruise informally before and after.

  14. December 30, 2018 at 5:28 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Hi Amy, thanks for reporting this. I’ve enquired with our contacts in Thailand and apparently, yes, this has been a rule for many years but is rarely enforced. Supposedly the authorities just use it to collect fines when they are low on cash! Many local boats never check in and out of provinces, so there may be something in just lying low. I have added a note about it to the Clearance section.

  15. December 30, 2018 at 1:28 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We cleared into Thailand in Satun before hauling out at PSS. After launching, we island hopped our way up to Phuket. Recently, we went to the Harbourmaster in Phuket. I don’t see this discussed anywhere in Noonsite, but we (and our friends) are being told we must complete domestic formalities with the Harbourmasters in each province.

    Our friend cleared into Phuket, visiting both C&I and the Harbourmaster. He had to clear out with the Harbourmaster before sailing to Krabi and clear in with the Harbourmaster there.

    We did not clear out with the Harbourmaster in Satun. Upon visiting the Harbourmaster in Phuket, we were fined 500 baht that we had to pay at the port head harbourmaster’s office, a 30-minute drive away.

    We were certainly not told this in Satun, and our contact at PSS said: “Previously, other boats that still remain in Thai waters after leaving Satun didn’t have to clear out at Satun Harbourmaster”

  16. November 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Reported by Martina & Reinhard Model:
    Following information which might be interesting to other sailors (October 2017):

    Our yacht flies the Malaysian flag, my wife and crew, as well as myself, are Austrian citizens, we both have one-year non-O visas for Thailand.

    Coming from Terengganu, Malaysia, we cleared in at Koh Samui (my wife as a passenger). In Koh Samui, I tried to get information about the requirements for departing to Europe by plane whilst leaving the yacht in Thailand. Immigration on Koh Samui was unable to give me any information and told me to ask at Customs. Customs explained several times (including the boss of the desk-officer), that there is no requirement. They said, “Just take your luggage and travel home“.

    After arriving in Koh Chang, we contacted the Laem Ngop Immigration office. Here we were told about the correct procedure which is as follows:
    – Bring ALL required documents to the Immigration office – in paper-copy (Passport, contract with marina, plane ticket incl. return-flight).
    – Pay a deposit of THB 20.000 which will be refunded on your return to Thailand back at the Immigration office.
    – I received an envelope which I had to hand over to the Immigration officer at the airport on departure.

    Everything was clear, smooth and without any needs of discussion.

    BTW:
    The Harbour captain in Koh Samui wants to get paid a “personal fee“ of THB 500 for each clear-in / clear-out. Negotiation, therefore, is required, don´t pay more than THB 200, better zero, off course.

  17. November 6, 2017 at 10:22 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Reported by Richard Luck:

    We checked into Thailand at Chalong yesterday. We docked Samurai at Ao Po, left the AIS on and took a motorbike down. Very smooth, in and out in 30 minutes. You can extend after your first 6 months at Customs in Chalong now instead of Phuket town.

    Unfortunately, you still need to go to Immigration in Phuket town to pay the 2000 baht one-off fee or 20,000 baht refundable bond to be able to leave the boat in Thailand with no Captain aboard. Also very quick and efficient there. Would have been nice if they’d consolidated that in Chalong too!

  18. November 2, 2017 at 7:12 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Port Takola, near Krabi, is one of Thailand’s newest Marinas. I have been based there for the last six months and have been delighted with the setup. The staff is very friendly and helpful. It is possible to hire a motorbike very cheaply from the locals, no need to go to town. Ao Nang is just a few minutes up the road with excellent shops, and the traffic is fairly light.

    Immigration folks are very friendly and helpful, as have been customs and the port authority, though there is a bit of distance between customers and the rest. About a 20 minute walk between. The hardstand has just become operational an I have never seen a more conscientious team, lifting my boat with great care. There is a very good restaurant and bar about 10 minutes easy walk away.

    The marina has all new facilities, is open and lets a breeze through. Access to Krabi is straight forward with a minimum depth of 4.0 meters in the channel. Entrance to the marina is probably the top two-thirds of the tide.

    A good guide is the height of tide=depth at the entrance. 2 meters of tide = 2 meters minimum depth at the entrance. Krabi town is just a dinghy ride away. A very peaceful place, easy access to town and tourist activities, but also a great experience with the Thai locals.

  19. October 30, 2017 at 7:14 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Reported by SE Asia Regional Editor Bob Mott:

    Recently those coming to Thailand by air and sea and road, especially the latter two, have been asked to show 20,000B in cash to prove they can take care of themselves financially for a short period – or show means of income or Work Permit etc. This has been happening a bit lately.

    I have also heard from some yachties the immigration office in Chalong has been extorting money – that they call a security bond to be able to sign back on their yachts and check out of Thailand. They have to submit a 20,000B security which is not true – the price to sign back on your yacht is a 10 Baht stamp duty only.

    The idea I think is so that they can offer to waive the fee and ask for 2000B in its place as a nonreturnable fee.

    I am investigating this now. Will keep you informed.

  20. May 25, 2017 at 6:08 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Two more marinas exist at the top end of the Gulf of Thailand. One is BangPakong Marina which is closest to Bangkok. This is on the BangPakong River and can be centered around high tide through a locked gate.

    It is much cheaper than Ocean Marina and permits liveaboard. Facilities basic but it does have a travel lift and is a cheap place to get the boat out to work on it. Suitable for yachtsmen on a budget. Maximum draft is about 2m for entry on a 3m tide.

    The other is Racer Marina on the Pranburi River. I have not yet used this one.

  21. February 15, 2017 at 3:23 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We just stayed at Krabi Boat Lagoon and can highly recommend it! It’s peaceful and tranquil, the rates for wet berth and hardstand are very good (and even better if you stay long-term).

    The staff is friendly and helpful and there are two restaurants within the marina. We had some stainless steel work done and the quality of workmanship + timing was impeccable.

    If you want to get away from the hustle & bustle of Phuket this is your spot to go with an airport just around the corner.

  22. July 15, 2016 at 8:42 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Krabi customs is challenging again. Only give 2-month extensions, 3 if you push. Was told I could only have 3 months because my visa (a renewal marriage visa) fell due in Oct. But next day guy with 7 months left on his visa only got a 3-month extension also. So its all a bit of a mystery. There seem to be fewer boats around this year.

  23. November 2, 2015 at 9:00 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Posted on behalf of anonymous:
    I am not coming to Phuket because they impose the AIS to foreign vessels only.

    I don’t believe that is for security.
    I have a radar, GPS, VHF, BLU, automatic pilot, wind vane, Iridium.

    It’s more than enough, no!!!
    I planned to buy my visa in Penang – but now it’s over.
    I am not the only one who canceled my trip.
    My family comes from Brazil, it is cheaper for them to extend the journey to Kl.

    The impact is important, for sure.
    I am sorry for the people working for the sailing industry in Phuket.

  24. October 20, 2015 at 7:59 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    WARNING! The announcement by Phuket Marine Department today. Foreign vessels NOT equipped with AIS will NOT be permitted to enter or depart Thailand waters, starting 19 Oct 2015. Thankfully period of grace has been granted. See news item adjacent for further details.

  25. September 7, 2015 at 2:35 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    For those cruisers considering having their liferaft serviced in Thailand, it may be useful to read about the experience of s/v Crystal Blues at http://svcrystalblues.blogspot.my/2013/10/dangerous-liferaft-servicing.html#more

  26. September 7, 2015 at 2:00 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    A word of warning if driving a motorbike in Thailand. In Phuket, the Ao Chalong police department is doing road stops for motorbike driving license checks as well as helmet and registration. Note: A motorbike license is mandatory here, a car license will not do. Watch out if you rent a motorbike as the hire shops don’t necessarily know the rules.

  27. December 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Cruisers have reported problems with the accuracy of Navionic charts in SE Asia, Thailand in particular.

  28. August 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Posted on behalf of Michael Blows:

    At my latest check-in to Thailand in Krabi, payment of the bond (THB20000) was unavoidable.. all the other boats coming in now suffered the same thing. I was given only 30 days (or less) and told either I paid the bond to allow me to leave by plane or land to get another visa (via consulate or on re-arrival), or I had to sail out within the 30 days (the latter option effectively negating the 6 month stay for the boat).

    Even when the amount is not a big deal it is still a huge administrative workload. Was told by immigration that the way to circumvent is simply applied and get a 60-day tourist visa before coming to Thailand (e.g. Penang or Singapore).

  29. May 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Its back to normal at Krabi. U can obtain 6 months temporary boat importation extendable for another 6 months without a problem. Krabi is very easy for paperwork, but u do need a car as customs and immigration are about 8 km apart.

  30. January 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    See news item dated 30 January 2014 which explains these new rules regarding length of stay for yachts.

  31. January 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    When we checked in at Ao Chalong in December 2013, on a weekday, there was a THB 100 per person fee to immigration.

    Since 1 January 2014 boats checking in at Ao Chalong have been given only a 60-day stay by customs. This is causing significant concern in the Phuket marine industry.