Getting your boat into South Africa

MN4-22 of 4 May 2022, issued by SAMSA and the Department of Transport, stipulates that ALL small craft entering South Africa from international waters MUST register online for pre-arrival authorisation before entering the first Port of Entry. This is done through

NB: This applies to South African as well as foreign boats.

With the Department of Transport’s guidance, the registration forms have been updated, and a Health Declaration for each person aboard is no longer a requirement. What is required now is a request for a pratique giving crew details, plus an additional form giving vessel details, both available when you register online. These are submitted to the relevant authorities by OSASA on your behalf.

The powers given to the Department of Transport are to monitor, manage and control all marine traffic around South Africa. We need to show that we as the marine leisure industry can self-regulate by keeping things simple. So please, please remind all your club members of this requirement from government: post the information in your Club newsletters and social media too. We need to spread the word.


Arrival procedures

  • Register for pre-arrival authorisation from the MSCC and the Department of Transport online through
  • Make your own berth bookings at the relevant marina for your first Port of Entry.
  • Fly a Q flag on arrival at a Port of Entry until cleared by Port Health, Customs & Immigration.

Making passage along the SA coast

  • Complete the relevant passage plan with the yacht club/marina before leaving one port, and email this to the yacht club/marina at the next port of call.
  • No other Customs or Immigration visits are necessary; the passage plan will act as a request for a pratique to enter port.


Departure procedures

  • Complete the relevant passage plan with the yacht club/marina stating that all monies due have been paid.
  • Take this to Customs and Immigration to be cleared out of the country.

Please note

  • Once your passport has been stamped out, you have left South Africa in exactly the same way as if you had gone through the passport barrier at an airport or land border, and cannot just “pop in” to other ports, harbours or anchorages along the way without once again clearing in through Customs and Immigration.