Vessel arrival and departure requirements (customs, immigration, etc)

How to find out what documents are required for the ship’s arrival/departure at a given port? What is the best way to find out the customs and immigration requirements for each port for a given vessel?

@ali-gara1, to find out what documents are required for a ship’s arrival/departure at a given port, the key point of contact is the port’s agent. They’re well-versed in local regulations and can guide you regarding necessary documentation.

The document requirements can vary but often include certificates related to ship safety, pollution prevention, crew and passenger lists, cargo manifest, etc.

For customs and immigration requirements, the port agent can also advise. Usual requirements include ship’s stores declaration, crew effects declaration, and health declarations.

Online resources, such as the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS), can provide useful information on specific port requirements.

Remember to stay informed about international conventions like the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention.

In short, your port agent should be your first point of contact, supplemented by online resources and international guidelines.

When looking for specific port requirements, the top three sources that come to my mind are:

  1. Port Authority: The first and most reliable source of information would be the port authority of the port where you intend to arrive or depart. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  2. Ship’s Agent or a Port Agent: These are local experts who handle the local legal and customs procedures for ships. They have specialized knowledge of the local requirements and can guide you through the process.
  3. Shipping Line Associations or Regulatory Bodies: Organizations like the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Shipping Council, and various regional shipping councils often provide information and resources about port requirements.