Heading to the Malvinas/Falklands – Applying for “Permiso”

September 2018: Latest updates from cruisers sharing their experiences in obtaining permission to visit the Falklands (Las Malvinas).

Published 6 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Posted 12th September 2018

From Dan Stroud, SV Aisling

I am currently in Piriapolis, Uruguay. I am writing to share my experience ref. getting Malvinas Permiso.

I can report that as a British flagged sailboat I applied for the Permiso by email and after one week received confirmation and authority to sail in Argentine waters with the possibility to visit Las Malvinas, South Georgia, and Sandwich.

I sent the application (see my sample form) to all three of the email addresses below, forwarding my intention to call at Las Malvinas and then to proceed to Puerto Williams in Chile.

I hope this is of some help.

I am not intending to clear into Argentina as I believe there is a stringent inspection for ocean-going vessels that I would not like to forego!

Dan Stroud

SV Aisling

Posted 14th July 2017

Update from Anastasia

Beginning December 2016 we asked our permission for the Falklands, it was done in Mar del Platta. We left  on14 December from Mar del Platta and arrived on 29 December in Desceado (after a stopover in Caleta Hornos) there we left on 13 January 2017 for the Falklands. We had at that time our permisson without any problem. The permission is NOT at all a bottleneck to go to the Falklands. In Desceado and in Mar Del Platta the prefecture was super friendly and did not make any problem for us. We had a peaceful crossing and even in PW and here in Ushuaia no problems about our whereabouts.

Posted 20 December 2016

Update from Omar, in Buenos Aires:

The bureaucracy has unfortunately increased and now it takes about 40-45 days to get the permit to go to Malvinas/Falklands.

That is why this year some foreign sailors have preferred to return to Punta del Este in Uruguay and to make the dispatch to the Malvinas from there, without touching Argentine ports to Malvinas. This does not invalidate the rule that establishes the daily position report in Argentine waters.

See: http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Argentina?rc=Formalities

Posted 27 September 2012

Attached is a document re. getting Malvina’s permit in Argentina – there were a couple of things that tripped us up so this should help other sailors. So far we have found all the authorities in Argentina (Customs, Prefectura and Immigration) very helpful and welcoming. This has been the case in BA, La Plata and now Mar del Plata.

Suzanne Hills

SV Whanake

Posted 25 September 2012

We applied for permission to visit the Malvinas in Ushuaia and got authorization after 10 days to visit Puerto Argentino (Port Stanley) and stay all the month in the Malvinas. We departed Ushuaia on August 2nd, 2012. There was no stamp “out” when we left Ushuaia. We returned to Mar del Plata on the 29th August, no problem with formalities (health, customs). In Ushuaia, only the prefecture took a short time to write the papers. It’s easy to stop in Malvinas from Argentina!

Jean-Claude Fleuret

SY Drisar

Posted 2 May 2012

I just wanted to make sure that yachts wanting to visit the Falklands Islands (Malvinas if you are that way persuaded) are not supplied misinformation which is currently growing hairy on the grapevine.

The procedure which works and enables yachts to pass from Falklands to Argentina (important option to have) without difficulty should be to apply for a “Permiso” from Argentina 7-10 days in advance of setting off towards the islands.

This can easily be achieved if heading North from the Beagle Channel by either going to Ushuaia and asking there, or if that is not convenient, contact Ernesto Canigia at DELFINES S.A. (E-mail: [email protected]) whom we used recently when we wanted to leave at short notice from Pto Williams, Chile. He charged 100USD but handled everything.

One has to complete special form “APPLICATION FOR AUTHORIZATION ACCORDING TO DECREE No. 256/2010”, which gives you 3 options to choose from:

– Transit between ports situated on mainland Argentina and Ports situated in the Falklands/Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur.

– Go through Argentine jurisdictional waters heading for ports situated in the Falklands/Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur. (We ticked this option).

– Load goods to be carried directly or indirectly between the ports located in mainland Argentina and ports situated in the Falklands/Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur.

Plus you have to provide the following standard information:

Name of ship / IMO Ship Number / Company name / Company identification number / Registered Owner Number / Callsign / Flag of Ship / Port of Registry / Type of Ship / Argentine Agency appointed / Name and License of Master / Port of Origin and last five ports of call and dates of arrival / Next ports of destination or call and ETA / Type and description of load/number of passengers / Purpose of navigation.

We are a British flagged vessel leaving at short notice to the contested islands at a time when Prince William was deployed there, the 30th Anniversary of the War was on and the despatch of HMS Dauntless had fairly well conspired to make it a hot potato, but he managed to get us the “Permiso” without problems.

This “Permiso” can then be used to avoid problems in Argentian (Brazilian and Uruguayan for that matter too) ports. After visiting the Falklands we ended up docking into Piriapolis, Uruguay. They did ask for the “Permiso” and seemed pleased to have received something on paper.

Sailors regularly told us that on departure from Argentina they had to sign that they would not visit the Falklands islands etc. but I believe the clause says they will not visit without prior permission – for which there is a process to obtain (as outlined above).

The obvious caveat to all is that individuals in the Prefecture can be difficult and in extreme cases, if they chose to be, I’m sure would find a form that a captain had not filled in! But, that said, this is the process that I believe works and is used by the charter boats who need to visit both Falklands and Ushuaia regularly. I like to do my own paperwork in all ports, but in this case, we used an agent due to the last minute nature of things, and that probably saved us plenty of time hanging around.

This permission is required by Argentine authorities if you are visiting their waters. The issue would never present itself unless you had to dock at an Argentinian port for whatever reason (and from noonsite previous stories we have seen that force major won’t make any difference if you did). Boats may or may not be asked to identify themselves when travelling through “estrecho la Maire”, but I haven’t heard of it being enforced as an infringement to do so without permission from Argentina, but stopping is a different matter, either at Staten Island or the Falklands. The suggestion is that they have a way of knowing if you have docked in Stanley.

As mentioned, I am only motivated to write by the number of boats (100%) who will tell people it’s not possible to visit the islands and then go to an Argentinian port.

David Lowrie

SY Lista Light


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