Clearance Procedures

Aruba has a bit different procedure for clearing in and out as other islands in the Caribbean: At arrival all vessels are required to go to an official port of entry first! The vessel will have to be cleared both by Immigration and by Customs.

For your convenience you can print and fill in the necessary clearance forms(three copies for Immigration, two copies for Customs).


When clearing in there is one point to keep in mind: We suggest that you ask immigration for a longer period then you intend to stay. Should your plans change you will not have to spend time to get an extension.

Visa requirements: None for citizens of the USA, Canada or the EC. Other nationalities please download entry requirements. For persons requiring visa: Even though Aruba is part of the Netherlands, visa for the Netherlands Antilles are not valid for Aruba.


You can clear in at customs once you have finished the clearance with immigrations.

Outside of the regular clearance: As of October 1, 2012 you will also have to declare the vessel you are on. This will not need to be done upon arrival but can be done (no later than) the next day. For this you will need to use a customs broker. Your customs broker will have to start the process of the declaration no later than your second day on the island


As of October 1 2012 a new procedure for foreign registered yachts will be applied by the customs office of Aruba.

Upon arrival the yacht will have to be declared to customs.

  • If the yacht stays 180 days or less: A temporary import permit will need to be applied for. No deposit will be required.
  • If the yacht stays longer than 180 days, up to a year: A temporary import permit will need to be applied for with payment of a deposit (or a bank guarantee) for the value of the duties for the yacht.
  • If the yacht will stay longer than a year the yacht will have to be imported.

After expiration of the temporary permit the yacht will have to leave the island for at least 15 days before a new temporary permit can be applied for.

Transient yachts currently in Aruba: As of October 1 the temporary import permit will need to be applied for, unless the owner intends to import the vessel in which case the yacht can be declared immediately.

Yachts brought into Aruba with the intention of sale will have to pay duties upon arrival.

Residents of Aruba can’t apply for the temporary import permit. The yacht will have to be imported upon arrival.

Persons immigrating to Aruba can apply for an exemption from the duty as the yacht might be seen as part of the household moved to the island.

Visa Requirements

None for citizens of the USA, Canada or the EC. Other nationalities please download: . For persons requiring visa: Visa has to be specifically for Aruba. Even though Aruba is part of the Netherlands, visa for the Netherlands Antilles or the Netherlands are not valid for Aruba.

Visitors can stay up to a total of 180 days per year in Aruba but might get limited in to how long for each stay depending on the nationality. Up to now there has not been a limit as to how long a vessel can stay in Aruba.


Require a certificate of health from your last port of call not older then 30 days.

Anchoring Permit

In Curacao an anchoring permit is required if you want to anchor outside of Spanish water. In Aruba there is no permit required. If you are anchored in a less frequented anchorage the Coast guard will probably pay you a visit, just because you are doing something different.

Clearing in at Oranjestad Harbor:

Call “Aruba Port Control” on channel 16 when approaching Oranjestad harbor. The port Captain will probably want to switch to channel 11 or 14. Then request permission to enter the harbor to clear Customs and Immigration. Customs agents are present in Oranjestad harbor, the Immigration officer will have to come down from Barcadera. Calling in your arrival 1/2 hour before arrival will expedite the clearing in process.

chart of Oranjestad harbor

chart of Oranjestad harbor

view of Oranjestad harbor

view of Oranjestad harbor

The SE entry buoy to Oranjestad harbor is located at 12° 30.317′ N 70° 02.153′ W

The port captain will assign you a place to tie up on one of the harbor docks and notify the authorities. The Immigration and Customs officers will come to your vessel to do the clearance. This will be at the second basin, to the west of the long cruise ship dock, at the “Hans dock” to port 12° 31.285′ N 70° 02.709′ W.

All crew will have to stay on board and wait for the customs and the immigration officials to come to the boat.

You will have to do your clearance with both Customs and Immigration.

Clearing in Barcadera harbor:

You can clear in at Barcadera harbor keeping in mind the following:

  • The port captain at Aruba Port Control prefers you to clear in Oranjestad and will direct you there if you contact them. If you want to clear at Barcadera don’t call Aruba Port control.
  • The container terminal is off limits to yachts. You will have to tie up to the North West dock with the wood face board. There is a shoal in front of this dock and during the week the dock is full with island traders.
  • The entry buoy to Barcadera harbor is at 12° 28.834′ N 70° 00.430′ W. Customs dock Barcadera is at 12° 28.855′ N 70° 00.014′ W.
  • Contrary to clearing in Oranjestad where you have to stay aboard for the officials to come to your yacht, in Barcadera you will have to go to the Immigration and customs office on the dock.

Barcadera Customs dock

If you go to the end of the (wood) dock stay close to the dock or the vessels tied to the dock on the way there to stay off the shallows. Up to 7 ft draft can go to the end, but you need to stay close to the dock.

Before departing the harbor to go to the marina (Or when making any movements within the harbor), call Aruba Port Control to make sure there is no other traffic.

For more information check the Aruba Ports website.