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Singapore entry procedures, visas & AIS transponders

Ships documents and a valid passport for all crew members must be on board.

Most international visitors will automatically get a two week visa on entry. The initial visa is renewable for a further two weeks and it is possible to obtain extensions for up to ninety days. Private vessels may be moored in Singapore for long periods as entry visas apply to individuals only.

Checking in and out of Singapore by visiting yachts is done at sea. Yachts requiring immigration clearance must display the ‘2’ and ‘5’ flags by day and two green lights in a vertical line by night.

The officials will approach in their 10-metre grey powerboat thrusting their fishing net on a pole with which to transfer documents. It is best to have all your documents ready in a watertight plastic bag for easy transfer into the net. The Immigration boat drivers are super talented close-quarters handlers but your crew should still keep a fender handy just in case.

Two designated open sea CIQ clearance anchorages may be used. The first is ‘Western Immigration’ two miles south of Sentosa Island just to the northwest of the Sister Islands at 01°13.000N, 103°49.830E. There are two grey immigration boats standing by in this area and they monitor VHF channel 14.

The second is “Eastern Immigration” in the roads just north of the Changi Staging Area at Angler Bank 01°20.111N, 104°3.000E. This is out in the open and clearance vessels seem to take an inordinate amount of time to respond so we recommend Western Immigration at The Sisters for cruising yachts.

The immigration officer will conduct a face-to-face check on all persons on the yacht so all crew must present on deck for this. Passports will be stamped and a Landing Pass valid for two weeks will then be granted.

In the past it has sometimes been possible for visiting yachts using Raffles Marina, Keppel or Royal Singapore Yacht Club facilities to request the marina manager to carry out clearance procedures on behalf of the yacht, for a fee. This option is no longer available. All yachts must clear at either Western or Eastern Immigration areas at sea.

AIS transponder rules for visiting yachts

It is now a Marine and Ports Authority (MPA) that all visiting foreign-flagged yachts must obtain cruising permits for all movements within the Port of Singapore Limits, including motoring between marinas and boat yards listed in this guide.

In order to qualify for this permit, the visiting yacht must be fitted with an Automatic Identification Sender (AIS) transponder or a Harbour Craft Transponder System (HARTS) transponder. Yachts not already fitted with AIS may rent one from Raffles Marina, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, One⁰15 Marina, Changi Sailing Club, Marina Country Club or the SAF Yacht Club (Sembawang).

At the time of writing AIS rental fees were S$60 for the initial three days and $15 per day for each subsequent day thereafter plus a deposit of $300.

AIS transponder is not required if you are clearing in and going directly to a marina. It is only required if you are moving from one marina to another or to a boatyard within Singapore MPA controlled waters. All Singapore marina management staff will be happy to answer questions. In Singapore waters visiting yachts are closely monitored.

For general enquiries, the onshore immigration checkpoint is at:

Seaman’s Section,
3-01B World Trade Centre Maritime Square,
Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 0409
Telephone: +65-273 0525 or +65-273 0053/4
The Port Clearance Office is in Tanjong Pagar Complex

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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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