Egypt simplifies procedures to boost yacht tourism

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

Egypt has simplified and expedited the procedures for the arrival and departure of foreign yachts to the ports and tourist marinas located on its coasts, the Maritime Transport Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Transport said in a Sunday press statement.

The statement said a single digital platform for foreign yachts has been created to streamline the relevant procedures. The platform is managed, operated, supervised, and developed by the Maritime Transport Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Transport.

The announcement comes as Egypt seeks to boost yacht tourism in the country. Egypt’s unique geographical position with waterways linking three continents – Asia, Africa, and Europe – provides the country with great potential for yacht tourism.

The country has a coastline of 2,161 kilometres, including 995 kilometres on the Mediterranean Sea, 1,194 kilometres on the Red Sea, and 72 kilometres on the Suez Canal. It also has the Nile River, which runs north to south through the country.

Yacht owners or their representatives can use the platform to enter yacht data, and passenger information, and upload required documents. They can also specify the arrival time, desired port of docking, and full itinerary.

The digital platform automatically sends the data, documents, and required interviews to the relevant authorities for review. The authorities then send their approvals to the official website of the maritime transport sector to issue a single approval for the visit program within 30 minutes.

A single invoice for the foreign yacht is issued and collected electronically through the platform in US dollars.

The statement said the previous procedures for foreign tourist yachts required a period of 15 to 30 days.

The statement also said a link has been added to the single digital window for foreign yachts to access the official websites of both the Passports, Immigration, and Nationality Administration for obtaining an electronic visa for passengers aboard the yacht. In addition, a link to the official website of the Suez Canal Authority has been provided for completing the procedures required for foreign yachts crossing the international waterway, in case it is included in the yacht’s itinerary and according to the departure and arrival locations.

The statement also said a unified code for the establishment and operation of marinas and ports in Egypt has been issued. The code will serve as a guide for all operators, including dock specifications, capacity capabilities, provided services, and communication channels with the Egyptian ports and marinas that are currently established.

The code will also outline the procedures and approvals required to establish an international marina to receive foreign yachts directly or establish a local marina. It will include information about the relevant authorities, their tasks, and the requirements for construction, devices, and equipment that must be available at international ports and marinas to complete the procedures for foreign yachts coming to Egypt.

Additionally, the code will explain all interfaces of the single digital window for foreign yachts and how to deal with them. Finally, it will include all laws, decisions, and executive regulations governing the establishment, operation, and management of tourist ports and marinas.

The statement also said a unified tariff for docking fees has been established for all docks, passenger stations, and tourist ports that belong to the Ministry of Transport. 

The tariff is in one currency to avoid conflict over docking fees for foreign yachts in Egyptian ports. The tariff will not interfere with docking interviews nor with the provision of services at private tourist marinas. 

The tariff will be announced via a single digital window for foreign yachts.

Foreign yacht visitors are free to choose their docking location between a general commercial port or a private marina. This choice is based on the advertised prices, provided services, and the desired tourist destination.

The Egyptian government has implemented measures to maximise yacht tourism and simplify procedures. These measures include allowing foreign yachts to depart from any tourist port or marina, rather than being restricted to departure from the arrival port or marina.

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