Vanuatu, Aneityum: How to clear-in at Anelcauhat

If you are coming from New Zealand to Vanuatu it is useful to be able to clear into Vanuatu at Aneityum. (Also called Anatom if you have French charts). Not an official port of entry, Patricia of Gulf Harbour Radio explains how two yachts (SY Meccetroy and SY Elysium) arranged clearance here.

Published 4 years ago

Aerial view Mystery Island, off Aneityum(Anatom)
Aerial view of Mystery Island, off Aneityum(Anatom) in southern Vanuatu from Gulf Harbour Radio courtesy of Diego from SV Meccetroy

Request Approval in Advance

As you will see from the Vanuatu Customs website, if you want to clear into Vanuatu at Anetyum you need to request approval by sending an email to [email protected]

You may not get a timely response so send it well ahead of departure. And if you get no response, just make sure you have a copy of your email to show the police in Anetyum if they ask for it.

On Arrival at the Port of Anelcauhat

On arrival, you will go ashore and start the check-in process with the officials that are there. However, you will not be able to complete this process until one of their colleagues from Port Vila arrives. They only fly in when there is a cruise ship to clear.

The cruise ship timetable for Mystery Island is on the MSC website. There are 3-4 ships a month during the cruising season.

This will give some idea as to how long you will have to wait in Aneityum for this process. It is a pleasant place to stay unless there is a westerly. (In these conditions you may consider just going up to the little U shaped anchorage on the north side and coming back later).

Elysium did their check-in at the Miko Guest House with cordial officials. They will tell you to keep your garbage on board and deposit it with Biosecurity when you get to Port Vila.

Clearance Fees

Costs for clearing-in at Aneityum are, in vatu,

  • 6000  Biosecurity
  • 5500  Customs
  • 4800  Immigration

You will get some signed and stamped forms that show you have paid this. If a receipt is needed you may get that in Port Vila. You can change money at the bank but if you are definitely going there you may want to arrive with sufficient vatu for there and Tanna. On July 1, 2019, 1USD was 115vatu.

It should be mentioned that the above costs are not cast in stone as other boats have had different charges when they checked in at Port Vila.

Europeans get three months free entry on arrival. Non-Europeans get one month free then can apply immediately for an extension of 3 months for 6000vatu.

In Vila it appears that costs for non-Europeans are 5500 plus 6000 for Customs and Biosecurity plus 6000 for the extension.

Aerial view of the anchorage on Aneityum island, Vanuatu showing yachts at anchor
Aerial view of the anchorage at Aneityum from Diego on SV Meccetroy courtesy of Gulf Harbour Radio

Ashore at Anelcauhat

You will be able to purchase a Digital phone card at Esters on the far west side of the town/bay. (Walk west past the small stream and it is another 100 meters or so. The tourist /bank building is the middle part of the N side of the bay).   These phone cards are 500 vatu and you can top up online or with top up cards. Other sources of phone cards add a surcharge.

If a ship is in port the internet is reliable 24/7 but otherwise, it is dependent on solar power so may be off at night time. During the day they may run a generator to charge the internet AP.


To visit Tanna’s Mt Yasur volcano, and this is a spectacular trip, you will be charged 9750 vatu per person. Roughly 100USD. Transport for two people from Port Resolution is 5000vatu for two so your round trip is roughly USD250 for two people. Try and pick a clear night and each person needs a flashlight. It is worth the cost.

What may not be worth a stop in Tanna is the ash that might cover your boat if you end up downwind! In this case, you may want to consider a flight from Port Vila and a stay in one of the rustic motels. This has the added advantage of allowing you to visit the isolated village that has ‘homes’ up in the banyan trees. A two-night stay is needed for this. In trade conditions, you will not be too affected by soot.

Compiled by Patricia from Gulf Harbour Radio
July 2019


The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of or World Cruising Club.

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  1. August 2, 2019 at 9:57 PM
    enzojeanb says:

    We were just there and here are a few points to add to Patricia’s post.
    Yes you can clear in, using the link to the cruise ship schedule worked great for us. We made landfall a day ahead of a cruise ship, and that seems this is when the officials fly in, a day ahead of ships.

    Unfortunately we were unable to pay the various check in fees, as the bank in Anatom is cash only, no bank card access. We tried getting Vatu currency before leaving Fiji, but none could found in 3 separate banks in Lautoka, Fiji. We did not have time to check in Nadi or Suva. So with no money, we could check in but we were directed to go to Lenakel on Tanna or to Port Vila to meet officials there, get money from the BSP bank and pay our fees.

    We sailed to Port Resolution on Tanna, where officials were already checking in another boat. They asked us to meet them the next day in Lenakel.

    One note that was not clear from previous reads is that you do not have to sail to Lenakel to clear in. At any rate Lenakel is a terrible anchorage. So it’s seems fine to sail to Port Resolution, since the officials will come here. Your only additional cost on top of clearance fees is covering their fuel, about 3000 Vatu. If you have currency. If not the drive to drive to a bank in Lenakel, arranged with local fixer Stanley at Port Resolution Yacht Club,, will cost 3000 Vatu per person for the return trip.

    That way you are much closer from Port Resolution for a visit to Yasur volcano.