Beware of New Policies Being Enforced on Cruisers in Argentina is reporting several incidences of problems for cruisers in Argentinian waters. Beware of the following report, or be subject to large fines:

Reports say that new arrivals have been detained by the Argentine Coast Guard and served with notices that they operated their vessels in an unprofessional manner. Two recent arrivals in Ushuaia, both legitimate cruisers (one Argentine and another Austrian), were visited by the Coast Guard and informed of an “infraction in communications.”

Apparently, new rules require any vessel traveling between Argentine ports to regularly contact the Coast Guard. Failure to do so will incur a fine ranging from $750 to $2000. So far, five boats have been detained and all have had to put up with several hours of interviews and lengthy depositions. However, the yachts so far detained are free to go and action is not being pursued. One fine was issued but later withdrawn.

The new rules are irrespective of the route taken, so all vessels will need to familiarize themselves with Argentine Coast Guard frequencies and be fluent in Spanish. Every boat must check in on a daily basis by a pre-agreed method (email, satellite phone, SSB or VHF frequency) while sailing between Argentine ports. Get a written contact sheet and log your attempts to call to avoid heavy fines on arrival at your destination. This is not an Ushuaia issue but directed from Buenos Aires and seems to be more of an assertion of Argentine maritime spaces. Apparently any yacht that does not check in regularly will cause a helicopter SAR to be initiated.

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