Entry & Clearance Procedures and Safety & Security


Yacht entry to Antigua & Barbuda is very similar to the procedures at most ports throughout the world. Yachts and vessels arriving from an overseas port and requesting entry must, on arrival either at anchor or alongside the dock at any of the marinas, fly a ‘Q’ (quarantine) flag from a high point of the rigging in a sailing yacht or from the bridge of a motor yacht.

Yacht entry procedures were substantially simplified in 2009 and in 2012 eSealClear was introduced where pre-arrival notice of clearing in can be done on-line which also simplifies the clearing out procedures for both Antigua & Barbuda. 

Please remember that you must clear in within 24 hours of arrival. There are severe penalties for failing to do so. Any crew or guests should remain on the vessel until clearing in procedures are complete.

Masters wishing to exchange crew members must, in the presence of an Immigration Officer, sign the said crew member(s) off one vessel and onto another with both masters taking full responsibility. Failure to do so will result in legal action. Any crew member leaving a vessel in Antigua must have a valid airline ticket departing from Antigua to a foreign destination. It is illegal to sell or otherwise dispose of an airline ticket to persons other than those who originally purchased the ticket. It is an offence to remain in Antigua & Barbuda without the consent of the Immigration authorities.

In the case of crew members arriving by air or joining a vessel that is leaving for a foreign destination, a signed letter from the yacht’s captain or from a local agent will be accepted in lieu of a return ticket. This documentation must be presented in advance of or at the time of the individual’s arrival at the airport.

Every vessel in Antigua & Barbuda’s waters must carry a valid cruising permit. Vessels anchored in English Harbour or Falmouth Harbour or berthed at Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua Slipway, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour Marina and Catamaran Marina are subject to National Parks Authority fees in addition to Port Authority Fees.

Vessels clearing out of Antigua & Barbuda must depart within 24 hours of completing clearance procedures. All departing vessels will be obliged to pay harbour dues before departing. Receipts for all Port and National Parks fees must be shown even if clearing out through a different port from the original Port of Entry.


Generally Antigua & Barbuda is a safe holiday destination.  Crime still makes the front pages of the newspapers whereas in other countries it rarely makes the papers at all.  However, it does not matter where you go in the world, if you do not take care, criminals will seek you out but with a little thought and preparation you can avoid becoming a victim.

Holidays are a time for relaxing.  We often drink more than we would at home.  Our guard is down.  Why not?  We are on holiday.  We sometimes go into areas we would never dream of going to at home and, perhaps worst of all, we may dabble in a few recreational drugs.  The dealers may appear to be very friendly but we forget that these people are operating outside the law.

Antigua’s marinas are well protected with security guards and anyone working on the docks is obliged to have a recognised security pass but it would be ridiculous to suggest you should sit on your yacht all day in the safety of a marina.  The vast majority of the time you are perfectly safe on the streets but a few precautions should be considered.

At night, walk on well lit streets. Avoid dark corners and alleys. Always walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic unless the other side of the street is better lit. If you do go out at night don't carry more than you can afford to lose.  Consider carrying a second wallet containing a few $1.00 bills and old credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted give the suspect the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to give to the police. Wear a minimum of jewellery, especially women and don’t flash your money around in bars. 

There is safety in numbers. If possible, walk with a companion, ideally more than one. Preferably, females should walk with male companions.  A robber is less likely to confront two or more.  Avoid walking through deserted areas. If you have no choice consider taking a taxi.

In the unlikely event you are confronted do not resist. Give the criminal whatever he wants, wallet, keys, jewellery, credit cards, mobile ‘phone, etc.. Your possessions are replaceable.  An injury to you or worse could ruin your holiday. If confronted don't make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a concealed weapon. If the robber claims he has a gun or knife in his pocket, you may not believe him but never call his bluff.  You could be wrong.  Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal, just notify police as soon as possible.

Emergency numbers in Antigua & Barbuda are the same as the U.K. and the U.S.A.. Both 999 and 911 work.
Behave responsibly.  Remember that you are more vulnerable after a few drinks and avoid taking drugs.  Although the chances are you will never encounter the few criminals who are around, by taking a few precautions you can ensure your holiday is safe as well as enjoyable. 

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