The requirements concerning all non-EU flagged vessels and all vessels with non-EU crew on board are currently in particular focus by the Mallorcan Police Border Office.
Please note these requirements apply in all EU waters; the Mallorcan authorities are operating particularly stringent checks at present.
UPON ENTERING EU WATERS ALL NON-EU FLAGGED YACHTS, OR YACHTS WITH NON-EU CREW MEMBERS ON BOARD:
- Must clear in at a border police office in the first European port that they touch (stamping of the ship's registry copy & crew list and, in the case of non EU crew members on board, their original passports must also be stamped with the entry date).
- Special care must be taken upon fulfilling the marina or shipyard's entry forms as these will be sent off to the Border Police Office and be revised. Therefore, if you come from an EU port, make sure it is stated so. The same applies if you come from a non-EU port (which will revert into having to clear in officially).
UPON EXITING EU WATERS ALL NON-EU FLAGGED YACHTS OR, YACHTS WITH NON-EU CREW MEMBERS ON BOARD:
- Must clear out at a Border Police Office at the last European port that they touch (stamping of the ship's registry copy & crew list and, in the case of non-EU crew members on board, their original passports must also be stamped with the exit date).
- Since yachts under TPA must by all means immediately abandon EU waters once the TPA is closed, the last European port would be the one where the TPA had been commissioned, in this case, Palma.
Failing to do any of the above could result in a fine and in the denial of any transit visas required for non-EU crew members wishing to leave by airplane for instance.
A further requirement by Palma authorities is that when a Discharge Book or a Seaman’s Book is held by a crew member, and service dates are recorded in such a document, then it is a fineable offence if the seafarer’s book has not been updated to record the entry about his/her joining of the vessel concerned.
Please note that not all Spanish mainland ports (Cadiz for example) abide strictly by the Schengen rules, and may decline to stamp documents of entry. In such a case it would be left up to the captain to clear into the EU at the next port of call.
Sensibly, a voyage from, for example, Cannes to Palma de Majorca is still regarded by the Palma authorities as effectively a “coastal” voyage between EU ports (as long as there is no intermediate stop in a non-EU port). In this case there would be no need to comply with the full inward clearance formalities.
However, in Italy the situation is different. A voyage from Cannes to Genoa is regarded by the authorities as a “foreign going” voyage. So even if all crew and passengers are EU citizens, they are not permitted to disembark until their passports have been validated by the port authorities against the crew or passenger lists. It is important to be aware of this requirement, as it could delay the disembarkation of crew or guests if the yacht arrives after office closure time.
As interpretations of EU regulations vary within national boundaries, let alone between different countries, the only safe course is to obtain the latest update from your local Agent well in advance of arrival at any given port.
The PYA would like to thank Yacht Projects and Pesto Sea Group for their valuable input to this memo.