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 harbours, marinas or ports in Antigua & Barbuda, fly a ‘Q’ flag from a high point of the rigging in a sailing yacht or from the bridge of a motor yacht.
Antigua & Barbuda has an on-line pre-arrival notification system called eSeaClear. Vessels can enter their information before arrival or at the time of arrival. If vessels do not have computer access, forms or computer terminals are available at the Ports of Entry.
Do note that the most commonly used clearing in system is SailClear so once you move to another Island you may need to register your information again depending on which system is used.
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. If your stop is brief, you may clear in and out at the same time.
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 the other with both masters taking full responsibility. Failure to do so will result in legal action. Any crew member leaving a vessel in Antigua or Barbuda 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. Extensions to time must be applied for before expiry of existing visa.
Carrying out any paid work in Antigua without a valid Work Permit is an offence subject to fines, imprisonment and deportation. 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 and be aware of the Small Craft Control Act 2015. Imposed to protect tourists from unlicenced water craft operators, the Act also has an impact on visiting yachts.
Vessels anchored in English Harbour or Falmouth Harbour or berthed at any of the marinas in English Harbour or Falmouth are subject to National Park fees in addition to Port Authority Fees. It is illegal to clear out of another port, such as Jolly Harbour, without first paying the English Harbour and Falmouth National Park 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 to the Port Authority.