Port Clearance Procedures - Welcome to the USVI!

Welcome to the U.S. Virgin Islands!

Officially recognized as an unincorporated Territory of the United States of America, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) flies the American flag and is governed by the laws of the U.S. Federal government, as well as those of the local U.S. Virgin Islands government.

Official Ports of Entry for the U.S. Virgin Islands are located in:

  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
  • Cruz Bay, St. John
  • St. Croix

While Crown Bay Marina makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information on this website, Crown Bay Marina makes no warranty, express or implied, and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein.

Compliance with, any/all applicable federal, state, and/or local government regulations pertaining to port clearance into the U.S. Virgin Islands Territory is the sole responsibility of a vessel’s owner(s), captain, or designated agent(s). Please utilize the contact information provided — phone, fax, website links — to verify your specific port clearance requirements.

Vessel Clearance Checklist
To facilitate your arrival at, or departure from Crown Bay Marina, please refer to the following checklist and verify if these requirements apply to you, or if any additional forms or procedures are required to ensure compliance with St. Thomas port clearance procedures.

As various agencies with homeland security responsibilities complete their transition into the Department of Homeland Security, certain forms that are currently being utilized for clearance may be revised and/or retitled to reflect the new CBP identifier for updated U.S. Customs and Border Protection forms. Many of these forms may be downloaded from www.cbp.gov or www.customs.gov, and are available at any CBP office, as well as at the Crown Bay Marina office’s front desk.

Before you can clear in you may need:

  • Advance Notice of Arrival/Departure (NOA/D)
  • Vessel clearance from last foreign port visited
  • Copy of ship’s registry
  • Lists of all crew members and passengers/guests
  • Completed CBP Form 1300 (Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement)
  • Completed CBP Form I-418 (Passenger List - Crew List Declaration)
  • Completed CBP I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record) for all foreign guests (white form)

Before you can clear out you may need:

  • Notice of Arrival/Departure (NOA/D)
  • Copy of ship’s registry
  • Lists of all crew members and passengers/guest
  • Completed CBP Forms 1300 (Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement)
  • Completed CBP Form I-418 (Passenger List - Crew List Declaration)
  • Retained departure portion of CBP I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record)
  • APHIS ‘regulated garbage’ removal service receipts [if applicable]

USDA/APHIS Regulated Garbage Disposal Service
To prevent the dissemination of plant pests and livestock or poultry diseases, U.S. Federal law requires that all vessels entering U.S. waters (including the U.S. Virgin Islands) that have visited a foreign port within a given period must properly dispose of all onboard ‘regulated garbage’ upon arrival.

Garbage is considered USDA/APHIS regulated garbage if your:

  • Vessel has been in any port outside the United States (and Canada) within the previous two-year period.
  • Vessel has moved during the previous one-year period, either directly or indirectly, to the continental United States from any territory or possession (or from Hawaii); to any territory or possession from any other territory or possession (or from Hawaii); or to Hawaii from any territory or possession.

Crown Bay Marina has entered into a Compliance Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) office and been certified by its officials to operate as an approved facility for the handling and disposing of regulated garbage by incineration to ash.

If you have determined that your vessel is subject to ‘regulated garbage’ regulations, you may choose to take advantage of Crown Bay Marina’s disposal service. Contact the marina office for details on how the disposal service works.

Your receipt for this service — verifiable by Crown Bay Marina’s garbage disposal log book — may serve to corroborate your vessel’s port log book should you be subject to USDA/APHIS inspector surveillance from ashore, be boarded at the marina, or questioned at subsequent ports regarding compliance. Penalties for noncompliance are substantial.

Waste management is also the subject of the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) enforcement of MARPOL Annex V Environmental Regulations which may apply to some vessels.

Port of Arrival: St. Thomas
For marine vessels, customs and immigration clearances are conducted at adjoining offices located on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront (Edward Wilmoth Blyden Marine Terminal); offices are open during posted business office hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Overtime charges, however, will be applied to clearances on Sundays and applicable holidays.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office hours of operation are 8 am - 12 am and 1 pm - 4:30 pm AST.  Contact the local Customs Service/Marine Terminal Supervisory Inspector in St. Thomas at (340) 774-6755. For additional information regarding CBP regulation and related questions, dial (281) 230-4642.

U.S. Immigration officials maintain office hours from 8 am - 12 am and 1 pm - 5 pm AST and may be contacted locally by phone at (340) 774-2378. U.S. citizens are required to present proof of citizenship to enter the U.S. Virgin Islands. Foreign visitors need a passport and a U.S. visa to enter the USVI (Canadians do not currently need a visa.) Immigration officials will make no exception to this rule.

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Requirements:

Notice of Arrival/Departure (NOA/D)
As of March 2003, the United States Coast Guard reports directly to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Best known to mariners for its role in saving life at sea, today’s USCG is tasked with protecting the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests — in the nation’s ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

Per the Department of Transportation, United States Coast Guard, 33 CFR Part 160, all vessels over 300 ton gross weight, and any vessel carrying paying passengers in and out of U.S. waters, are required to submit an advance Notice of Arrival/Departure (NOA/D) to the U.S. Coast Guard before calling at or departing from U.S. ports.  Vessels carrying paid crew, but no passengers, entering or leaving U.S. ports for the purpose of picking up charter guests, must file. Day charters and term yacht charters must file as well.