Explore Fiji’s Customs and Clearance Requirements for Yachts
If you’re planning a voyage to Fiji aboard your yacht, it’s essential to be familiar with the customs and clearance procedures.
To simplify the process, Fiji offers the expertise of reputable registered Yacht and Super Yacht Agents who can handle the necessary formalities on your behalf:
The four registered Yacht Agents in Fiji processing cruiser applications are:
- AQUAM INSULA Maritime Lifestyle
- Ashmita Sami
- Phone: (679) 9983600 / 7643661
- Email: [email protected]
- Seal Superyachts – (only for superyachts)
- Chase Smith
- Phone: (679) 9996556
- Email: [email protected]
- Yacht Help
- David Jamieson
- Phone: (679) 7505000
- Email: [email protected]
- Yacht Partners
- Josephine Morris
- Phone: (679) 9927986
- Email: [email protected]
The engagement of an agent is not mandatory unless you are on charter. If you choose not to use their services, please read through the clearance information provided below. Additionally, you can download the required clearance paperwork in advance for your convenience.
Arrival protocols into Fiji are very simple and are found on the following website https://www.frcs.org.fj/our-services/customs/yachts-and-vessels. The Master of the vessel must submit their inward arrival form for each crew 48hrs prior to departure from the last port. Documents to be sent to [email protected].
PORT DENARAU MARINA IS A PORT OF ENTRY AND ALL BORDER AGENCIES ARE AVAILABLE ON-SITE.
Most countries don’t need visas to arrive in Fiji, and will get stamped for a minimum 4 months tourist visa on arrival, however, we strongly encourage you to review individual visa requirements based on the passport holder’s country. All crew signing on or off will need to complete forms and submit them to Immigration Department and Customs: Forms A and Form B are linked.
Ports of Entry
Immigration Act 2003 governs the entry and departure from Fiji Island as per below:
Part 3 Sec(7) states “The master,the owners agent of a ship which is due to arrive in the Fiji Islands from a place outside the Fiji Islands, or which is about to depart from the Fiji Islands, must give to an Immigration officer at least 24 hours notice in writing of the expected arrival or departure date”.
Sec (8) If a ship is due to arrive in the weekend or holiday ,the period of notice required under sec (7) is at least 48 hours.
Send your prior arrival notification at least 24 hours before departure from last port in writing to the Immigration Officer.
According to Immigration regulations: it is mandatory to clear customs within 24 hours of arriving in Fiji waters. Do NOT ANCHOR or go ashore without first clearing into a Port of Entry. All yachts and small crafts arriving from overseas must report to a Customs Port of Entry.
Upon reaching the pilot station, contact Port Control and request entry into the port. Until cleared by Health or after receiving a radio pratique from Health, it is necessary to hoist and fly the “Q” flag on the mast. You can also seek assistance from Port Control to contact Port Health, Customs, and Agriculture Quarantine for clearance upon arrival. For further information, please visit www.frcs.org.fj.
Food stores – please review Biosecurity requirements below.
Obtaining a Cruising Permit for Fiji from the iTaukei Affairs Board is a requirement. Whether you choose to visit the iTaukei offices in Lautoka or Suva personally or hire an agent or utilise the marina office, this permit allows bona fide visiting yachts to cruise the Fiji Islands.
Departing Fiji by Yacht
To depart Fiji, you must inform Customs at least 24 hours before your expected departure and berth your yacht at a port of entry/exit. Officials require you to sail your yacht to the port where you intend to apply for departure clearance. Prior notice to the Department of Immigration is also necessary to ensure they can authorize your departure. Once cleared, it is expected that you depart the port promptly.
Information for Departing Fiji by Yacht
For duty-free bunkering in Fiji, please liaise with the marina. While at sea, the RFMF Naval division assumes responsibility for maritime surveillance, representing the border control agencies.
We hope this information assists you in navigating the customs and clearance requirements for yachts in Fiji. Should you have any further questions or require additional details, please do not hesitate to reach out. We wish you a pleasant journey and enjoyable experiences while cruising the beautiful waters of Fiji.
Vessel provisions (plants and animal product ) conditions by Biosecurity of Fiji:
1. Frozen POULTRY meat only allowing from New Zealand.
2. Frozen BEEF, LAMB and other ruminant products only allowing from Australia and New Zealand.
3. Frozen PORK products not allowing from any country unless prior approval from BAF with BAF’s Personal Import permit and must accompany all required documents with import permit
4. Frozen Prawns without head and shell is allowed from any country.
5. Frozen meat products apart from above will not be allowed to use during cruising.
1. Frozen dairy products are allowed only from Australia, NZ and France having established pathway country wide.
2. Shelf stable dairy products from approved country list are allowed to be used during cruising. (as per BAF alert)
3. Dairy products apart from above are not allowed to use during cruising in Fiji
Shelf stable products
1. Shelf stable products that have poultry products as an ingredient will only be allowed from New Zealand.
2. Shelf stable pork products such as canned pork or products contain pork as ingredients are not allowed from any country. (N.B: If importer has made prior approval from BAF for this import, it requires import permit with necessary documents accompanying the consignment).
3. Shelf stable products contain animal ingredients other than pork and poultry, are allowed from Australia. (N.B: Poultry products not allowed from Australia)
4. Shelf stable products having animal ingredients other than pork, are allowed from New Zealand.
5. Shelf stable products that have less than 10% of animal products are allowed from approved country list with BAF Import permit and Manufacture declaration (Refer BAF’s alert).
Honey from any country is not allowed to import in to Fiji. Can give options to put on hold or either incinerate thus raw honey from any country cannot be consumed during cruising around Fiji water.
Note 1: Country of origin/ manufacturing of the product: defined as the country in which the meat and meat products, dairy and dairy products are sourced and manufactured or processed Country of export is not always the same as country of origin (please note sometimes third country origin animal products are exported by another country, therefore country of origin should not be confused).
Note 2: If BAF cannot identify country of origin of BAF regulated article with available information and the product does not have labels in English language, these products shall be considered as high risk.
All leftover food, offcuts and ingredients must be collected on board the vessel and stored in freezers (hard frozen). These can be offloaded under direct BAF supervision upon prior arrangements with the port of arrival and if approval is granted to do so by BAF.
All animal and plant products must also comply with other border agencies’ requirements for various approvals to be granted as per this arrangement.
BAF and its representatives shall not be responsible for any liabilities, compensations and delays in these regards.
CHARGES AND DUTY
Customs normal working hours are from 0800 – 1300 and 1400 – 1630 hrs and any clearance done outside these working hours, are subject to the following:
- Any Clearance done between 1630hrs to 2000hrs (Monday – Friday) – FJD$25.00/hr
- Any Clearance done between 2000hrs to 0500hrs (Monday – Friday) – FJD$75.00/hr
- Any Clearance done between 1300hrs to 1400hrs (Monday – Friday) – FJD$40.00
- Any Clearance done on Weekends and Public Holidays – FJD$105.00/hr
Ministry of Health and Medical Services
Will be confirmed by the Yacht Agents accordingly as fees may change due to Health Requirements that maybe required for individual yacht.
Bio-security Authority of Fiji
CATEGORY 4: CONVEYANCE CLEARANCE OF VESSELS
- C4-3 – Boarding and clearance of super yachts during normal working hours – per vessel – FJD$183.12
- C4-4 – boarding and clearance of Super Yachts after hours – per vessel- $462.16
- C4-5 – Boarding and clearance of Yachts during normal working hours – per vessel – FJD$85.02
- C4-6 – Boarding and clearance of yachts after hours – per vessel – FJD$172.87
CATEGORY 1: IMPORTS RISK ANALYSIS
C1-18 – Refundable bond for animals quarantined on board vessels – FJD$1,500.98 (per clearance)
C1-22 – Monitoring and Inspection of Bonded animals on board vessels – FJD$27.25 (Per inspection)
For Payment of Bond Refund:
- A written notice of request for payment of refund is to be submitted to the Authority ONE (1) week before departure to allow for processing
CATEGORY 2: IMPORTS
- C2-19 – Inspection of foreign garbage and supervision of incineration during normal working hours – FJD$106.28 (per clearance)
- C2-20 – Inspection of foreign garbage and supervision after hours – FJD$165.79 (per clearance)
[Working Hours: Monday – Friday: 0800hrs – 1700hrs]
[After Hours: Monday – Friday: 1700hrs – 0800hrs; Weekends and Public Holidays]
All crew and passengers above the age of 17years will be allowed normal passenger landing duty free allowance of the following:
- 2.25ltrs of Spirit or
- 4.5ltrs of Wine or
- 4.5ltrs of Beer, and
- 250 sticks of Cigarettes, or
- 250g cigar or
- 250g tobacco, or
- (Any combination of the above provided that it does not exceed the equivalent quantity under liquor, wine and beer, cigarette, cigar and tobacco).
- Any other personal belonging up to a value of FJD$1,000.00
Any excess to the above allowance will be subject to levy of import duty and VAT or goods being detained by Customs.
Firearms and Weapons
The importation of firearms is strictly controlled in Fiji. All firearms must be declared to the Customs Officer on arrival of the vessel from overseas. Firearms onboard will be detained and placed for safekeeping by the Fiji Police who will hold them until the vessel’s departure. Collection times for arms should be arranged with Police at least 48 hours before departure time. The importation of weapons such as flick knives, swordsticks, knuckle-dusters and any weapon designed to give the appearance of another article is prohibited. All ships and vessels travelling to Fiji need to meet a number of requirements before and on arrival to ensure Fiji’s environment, economy and people are protected from invasive pests and diseases. http://www.frca.org.fj/yachts-arrival/
Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF)
This page sets out the requirements for visiting vessels:
Yachts and pleasure crafts are welcome in Fiji. However, international yachts entering Fiji waters are considered to be of a high biosecurity risk and are closely monitored by BAF. Hence it is important for yacht owners to be aware of the clearance procedures for yachts and other pleasure crafts.
Biosecurity clearance procedures
Once in Fiji waters, the yachts should proceed to the designated port of entry. The master or captain of the yacht must declare to BAF the following:
- the destination seaport in Fiji and the estimated time of arrival of the vessel
- its immediate preceding port or place of call
- the proposed itinerary of the vessel until it leaves Fiji
- the presence of any live animal or live plant on the vessel
- any other matter relevant to facilitating biosecurity landing clearance of the yachts that is specified by BAF
This above declaration must be made at least 24 hours before the estimated time of arrival. The vessel master must complete a Master’s Declaration Form declaring all biosecurity risk items on board that are either restricted or prohibited. Items to declare include:
- Foods (tinned/packed), including meat, sausages, salami, ham, poultry, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, honey etc;
- Plants or parts of plants (live or dead) including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, bulbs, flowers (fresh or dry), mushrooms, straw, bamboo or any other articles made of plant materials;
- Animal products including feathers, fur/skin, shells, hatching eggs.
- Animals, reptiles, fish, birds (or parts thereof), alive or dead, stuffed or mounted;
- Soil or equipment used with animals of any kind or that has come in contact with soil;
- Biological specimens including vaccine cultures, blood or any other biological specimen; and
- Domesticated pets to be bonded and kept on board the vessel at all times (cats/dogs/birds etc).
Some of these items will not be permitted to be kept aboard the yacht for the duration of the visit in Fiji. What is allowed to stay aboard will be at the discretion of the Biosecurity officer at the time of inspection, depending on the risk they represent. The yachtmaster should also ensure that no refuse containing any animal, plant, animal product or plant product is discharged from the yacht into the sea while the yacht is in Fiji. All refuse generated on the vessel is placed in a suitable leak-proof container, with a lid, and the container is securely fastened at all times and kept aboard the yacht. The refuse can only be removed from the yachts under the directions of the Biosecurity Officer.
Live animals on yachts
Yachts arriving in Fiji with live cats, dogs, pet birds etc must pay a bond as security against the dogs, cat and pet birds etc coming ashore while in Fiji’s territorial waters. The bond payment is $FJD $1,500 which is refundable upon departure from Fiji if bond conditions are not breached. In general no animals will be permitted to come ashore in Fiji and must remain on board the vessel at all times while in Fiji’s territorial waters. Cat and dogs and other pet animals may not be imported into Fiji via yachts. Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies not more than 12 and not less than 6 months before arriving in Fiji. One month after the rabies vaccination of the dog, it must be subjected to the Rabies Neutralization Antibody Tire Test (RNATT) with a positive result of no less than 0.5 IU per ml.
By taking these precautionary measures visitors will enjoy traversing the pristine waters of Fiji without the worry that their pets may be posing a risk to the native fauna, flora, the environment and the friendly people of Fiji. Pet birds (e.g. parrots, finches, canaries etc) on yachts must be free Newcastle Disease without vaccination, must have been tested free of Newcastle Disease six (6) months prior to arrival in Fiji, must not have been in the waters of countries not free of Newcastle Disease without vaccination less than six (6) months prior to arrival in Fiji.
Pet birds must be in locked cages at all times, and the animal must not be brought on shore at any time. Other species of pet animals are prohibited from entry into Fiji waters via yachts. Vaccination certificates and laboratory tests results must be original and made available to Biosecurity Officers when Biosecurity Boarding Inspection are carried out at the First (1ST) Port of Entry. For further information or clarification please contact the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji on phone 3312512, fax 3305043 or by email. Enquires can also be made in person at any of the BAF office.
Intention to Bring a Yacht to Fiji
As interim or transiting tourists, they are permitted to enter Fiji with their baggage, provided they leave Fiji within the period allowed under Fiji’s visa regime. It is important to note that any person arriving in Fiji using whatever means of transportation must have a valid passport at all times and the validity of the passport must not be less than the period of stay in Fiji.
It is basic requirement under Customs laws that the master of the vessel must give a minimum of 24 hours notification to Customs prior to arrival in Fiji. This may be through Suva Radio 3DP using channels 16 and 12. A written notification may also be sent on facsimile (679) 330 2864, if such a facility is on board. It shall also be necessary for their informing Suva Radio 3DP to direct their arrival notification request to port Health Quarantine for radio pratique or the need for physical boarding by Health authorities, depending on each traveling circumstance.
Unless and until Health Quarantine has issued the health pratique, the yacht must display the ‘Q’ flag at the main mast. The Customs and security issues in Fiji are strict and all vessels of whatsoever description must proceed directly to a port of entry (currently Denarau and Savusavu) and not to any other place in Fiji without written clearance authority from the Customs. Although there are several marina and club facilities in Fiji, none is a port of entry and any vessel or yacht found at places other than a port without Customs clearance would be prosecuted with severe fines. Serious Customs offences also include forfeiture of the yacht or vessel.
As with most countries, Fiji is taking a very hard line attitude to persons or yachts found with drugs, weapons, pornographic material or other prohibited items. Travelers to Fiji having doubts as to the legality of items on board are strongly advised to contact the relevant authorities before arrival. All such items must be declared to the Customs Officer who comes on board to inspect the yacht or other vessel. Before a vessel or yacht leaves any country bound for Fiji, the master is required by law and must obtain a valid Customs clearance from the Customs authorities of that country. This clearance certificate will be collected by Customs upon their boarding of the vessel. Under Customs laws, visiting yachts may enter and can be kept temporarily in Fiji without payment of Customs duty on the yacht, provided:
- The yacht is the sole property of the bona fide tourist;
- The yacht is on a bona fide cruise or participating in a yacht race;
- The yacht is not abandoned in Fiji by master/owner; and
- The yacht shall remain in Fiji for a period not exceeding 60 months (54 months initial period + 6 months extension period) after its first arrival.
The yacht will become liable to duty if:
- It is put to commercial use or for other considerations while in Fiji waters (e.g. commercial charters, hiring or leasing, etc);
- The owner is associated in any way with any entity in Fiji as an employer either before or after arrival; or
- The yacht is not exported within 60 months (54 months initial period + 6 months extension period) of the date of the yacht¡¦s first arrival in Fiji.
All adults above the age of 17 will be given to enjoy landing passenger liquor and tobacco allowances and other goods as for any other arriving passenger.
Departing Fiji is slightly easier as you will require two government officials for clearing out. The two officials is Immigration and Customs. You have to scan and send the filled check out forms to [email protected] 24hrs in advance and advising them which port you would like to clear out from.
The required forms for clearing out is also on our website in the resources section.
You are required to sail to the desired Port for Clearance, you cannot anchor your vessel and travel by land to the customs office as officials will require to see the vessel following the clearance process.
The customs officer will require the receipt copies of your clearance into the country therefore please ensure that these are kept safely. Once cleared, you will need to leave Fiji waters within 24 hours. It is prohibited to stop at any island once cleared. However, if your departure is delayed for some reason, and you anticipate being in Fiji over that 24 hour time period, you need to contact the same customs officer and advise them of this as soon as possible!