Jackie Parry – author

On Board Paperwork / Documentation

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We have been asked for most of the following documentation at some point during our travels (not all at the same port). Ensure you check the requirements for the country you are visiting.


  • Visas
  • Passports
  • The ship’s papers (original certificates)
  • Crew lists – multiple copies at hand
  • The original insurance certificate for the boat
  • Passport photos for everyone on board
  • Proof of ownership (of vessel)
  • Vaccination certificates for all on board
  • Pet inoculation details and certificates (check date requirements)
  • Plus many photocopies of each item

You might also be asked for some of the following:

  • Bank statements, proof of funds/property owned in home country (you may need these in some countries to prove you can fend for yourselves and have a reason to leave).
  • List of medications on board. Anyone travelling with medications and/or syringes should carry a prescription. All medications should be kept in their labelled dispensing bottles or packages. If the medications are controlled or an injection type then it is also advisable to carry a doctor’s letter authorising possession and use by the bearer.
  • List of boat details, length, colour etc
  • Ship’s radio licence
  • Certificate to operate the radio/VHF
  • The skipper may need an International Certificate of Competence
  • Fishing licence for the area you intend cruising
  • Details of last haul out including details of type of antifoul paint used (keep receipts)
  • Last termite inspection/treatment (keep receipts)
  • List of previous ports visited and length of stay
  • List of ports you intend to visit
  • List of all equipment on board; radios, GPS, laptops etc, including make and model, (we did not list our backup equipment and this was not checked)
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Alcohol on board
  • Weapons
  • Engine details

Don’t forget the courtesy and quarantine flag, and that an official looking boat stamp is a great help.

It is very important to remain polite and courteous.


Author: jackieandnoel

Author and Traveller

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