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French Guiana (Navigational information)

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Coordinates: 004° 37.541' N , 052° 14.027' W
Country: French Guiana


French Guiana is one of France´s overseas departments, and as such a part of the European Union. The currency is the Euro and the official language is French. Time zone is UTC-03.

Sailing the coast

  • From January to April - winds are predominately from the northeast; 
  • From April to December - predominately  from east and southeast. 
  • North equatorial current- 1-3 kts, has maximum effect between 60 and 100 miles offshore. 
  • Tidal current - runs along the coast with a speed of around 1.5 kts, is stronger in front of the river mouths. 

Formalities are very relaxed. There are no fees for boats or people.

  • Clearance is handled through customs (Douane) and can be completed at St George, Degrad des Cannes, Kourou and Saint Laurent. No clearance from a previous port is required. 
  • Immigration formalities are necessary only if a visa is required - no visa is required EU/EEA citizens regardless of length of stay. Other nationalities Visas are may stay up to 90 days without a visa but you are advised to check the requirements for your nationality. Visit the Police aux Frontières at Cayenne airport, St Georges or Saint Laurent. 

EU and non-EU yachts are allowed to remain in French Guiana for up to 6 months. After that time it is necessary to pay a local tax (octroie de mer) of 17.5% and another tax of 2.5% on all vessels (total 20%). You can reset the 6 month clock by clearing out of French Guiana and travel to either Suriname or Brazil for a few days, then return and formally clear into French Guiana.

Importing chandlery items

  • From Martinique or Guadeloupe - no customs duties 
  • From any other country, including EU states - 20% tax. 

A DHL offi ce can be found on Place des Palmistes in downtown Cayenne.

Dinghy security - chaining and locking the dinghy while ashore, lifting it out at night when at anchor.


External link

French Ministry of Foreign Aff airs

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Added by Helena Neal on 04/08/2018 03:08:16.
Last updated by Helena Neal on 11/08/2018 12:14:05.
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