On your arrival
Vessels must fly the yellow flag until the formalities are completed (immigration, customs, phytosanitary) and the courtesy flag.
As of May 9, 2022, health measures have been reduced.
Pleasure vessels can only make their first touchdown in French Polynesia in a “Gendarmerie” office on one of the following islands:
- Huahine – Fare
- Raiatea – Uturoa
- Bora Bora – Vaitape
- Nuku Hiva–Taiohae
- Hiva Oa–Atuona
- Ua Pou–Hakahau
- Rangiroa – Tiputa
- Mangareva – Rikitea
- Tubuai – Mataura
- Raivavae – Raima
You must send your maritime health declaration to the BVS – Bureau de la veille sanitaire (firstname.lastname@example.org) 48 hours before your arrival in French Polynesia : Download maritime health declaration form here
The captain must also follow the rules in terms of Biosecurity, to know more : https://www.service-public.pf/biosecurite/
In addition, for better management of maritime stopovers in French Polynesia, pleasure craft should provide the Polynesian Department of Maritime Affairs (email@example.com) with the following information:
- Final arrival/departure island
- Final arrival/departure date
- Vessel name / Vessel Flag
- Identity of the skipper
- Number of people on board
Border police / PAF
Formalities to be done at the office of PAF in Faa’a (Tahiti-Faa’a Airport) if you enter through Tahiti or Moorea. Otherwise, to be done at the gendarmerie of your port of entry. Note that if you make a change of crew during your stay, you must declare it to the PAF in Faa’a.
Each crew member must present a valid passport and justify a health insurance coverage. French citizens may stay and work without visa. Those coming from the E.U. (except from France) may stay without visa under certain conditions and citizens from other countries must have a visa. This visa must imperatively carry the mention “Valid for French Polynesia”.
A return ticket to your country of origin is necessary, or if not, you must justify the deposit of a guarantee with a local bank. This repatriation guarantee is individual and returned when you depart. A maritime agent lets you avoid these obligations by vouching for you.
It is highly recommended that you visit the following site before leaving:
The formalities and verification of your situation are to be done upon arrival. If you enter through the port of Papeete, go to Papeete’s Customs Office. Otherwise, go to the gendarmerie of your entry port. The Customs form, which is given to you when you arrive must be filled out and mailed to “Direction des Douanes” de Papeete within 24h. or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember: Failure to declare one’s arrival or departure is a violation of FP’s Customs Code and is liable to penalties. According to decree n° 401 CM of March 27, 2013 modified by decree n° 655 CM of April 22, 2014, a vessel may stay under the regime of temporary admission in Polynesian waters without clearing customs and suspended from import duties and taxes for a period of 36 consecutive months under the following conditions:
- The owner or user of the boat must not be a resident of French Polynesia nor work during his stay.
- The vessel must be registered outside of French Polynesia, it shall not be sold, rented or lent to a third party.
- Beyond the period of 36 consecutive months under temporary stay, you must leave French Polynesia waters with your boat (no minimum time requirement between 2 stays in French Polynesia, but by presenting proof of leaving the territory and entry in a territory other than French Polynesia) or by clearing Customs (contact the Customs service).
- More info: Decree n° 655 CM du 22/04/2014
Insects and animals control (Service du développement rural – SDR)
To protect French Polynesia, which is free of many pests and diseases, the import of any animal, plant and any product of animal or vegetable origin is prohibited. Waivers may be granted under certain conditions by the Rural Development Service. Declaration forms are available on the website. Bringing your pet on land is prohibited. The import of honey is prohibited. Food products of animal origin should be strictly kept onboard.
If you are considering a stay longer than 3 months, it is necessary to request a long term visa, but you must go through these steps before you arrive in French Polynesia, with the French consular authorities in your country of origin, or with the French consulates in your stopovers before.
Applications can be sumitted to the French Embassy in Panama at the earliest 3 months and at the latest one month before the scheduled departure from Panama. With some exceptions, personal appearance at the Embassy is mandatory. The price is € 99 payable in US dollars (the dollar amount varies depending on the applicable rate of Chancelry). Form, explanations, list of documents required. If individuals want to keep their passport pending the processing of their application, they will also need to submit this application duly completed and signed.