Regulations and Charges
St Lucia has five seaports: Ports Castries and Vieux Fort cater mainly for commercial shipping, with Rodney Bay Marina, Marigot Bay and Soufriere devoted mainly to pleasure craft. All seaports are located on the west coast.
There are three entities involved in processing the formalities for entry into St Lucia: Immigration, Customs, and the St Lucia Air & Seaports Authority (SLASPA). Additionally, the Soufriere Marine Management Authority (SMMA) manages a protected Marine park along part of the West Coast, from offices along the Soufriere waterfront. The SMMA is responsible for collecting mooring, snorkel and dive fees for the zone under its control. The Soufriere Development Foundation (SDF) also collects a head tax for disembarkation on docks in the Soufriere Bay.
For the purpose of determining the applicable fee paid to SLASPA there are two classes of yachts. These are: private and commercial.
A private yacht is one which does not engage in plying passengers on hire. A bare-boat charter is classified as private. Commercial yachts are those which embark/disembark passengers who have paid as individuals or groups for the pleasure of travel on these vessels.
A commercial yacht requires an occasional license, determined by overall length, to cruise. Private yachts do not pay the occasional license.
All yachts pay for pratique, clearance, navigational aids and passenger dues, determined by vessel weight or length. Passenger dues do not apply to master and crew on private yachts, but do on commercial.
Yachts in transit may clear in/out with the validity of the clearance being 72 hours; the validity of a regular clearance is 24 hours.
Yachts wishing to moor at a location within St Lucian waters other than their port of entry after obtaining a clearance must obtain a Permit to Moor from Customs at a cost of EC$25. This permits the yacht to remain in local waters for an additional 72 hours.
Yachtsmen wishing to snorkel, dive, or spearfish require permits from the Department of Fisheries for areas outside of SMMA control. A local dive guide must also accompany any dive.
Sports fishing requires a craft license from the Fisheries office costing EC$270/US$100; recreational/casting also requires an EC$50/US$20 license.
When it comes to immigration requirements, visitors can request up to 3 months stay in the first instance. Bona fide visitors and yachtsmen can expect to be granted a minimum of 42 days. Applications for extensions must be made in person at the Immigration Office in downtown Castries. There is an EC$100 fee per 21-day period.
An embarkation tax of US$21 (at airports) applies when a passenger leaves by air having arrived by sea; the seaport embarkation tax (EC$15 per person) applies if arrivals by sea join a departing yacht as a passenger.