The State of Alaska requires mandatory pilotage in Alaskan waters for foreign-flagged vessels over 65’ length overall (LOA).

Vessels more than 65’ LOA and less than 175’ LOA are eligible for exemption from pilotage upon approval from the State Marine Pilot Board.

Vessels more than 125’ LOA and less than 175’ LOA, regardless of exemption status, are required to employ a pilot upon arrival in Alaska.

A pilotage exemption does not apply to the areas of Wrangell Narrows or Peril Strait, in Southeast Alaska, and if transiting these areas, a pilot must be employed.

Vessels more than 175’ LOA are not eligible for an exemption from pilotage in Alaskan waters.

State regulations require a registered agent to facilitate pilotage exemptions. As a general rule applications should be submitted a minimum of thirty (30) days before arrival.

State of Alaska regulations require vessels over 400 Gross Tons to have a current Alaska COFR and Oil Spill Response Plan in effect prior to arrival in Alaska waters.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Cruising permits can be issued, but not renewed, while in Alaskan waters. In addition, if your vessel has been outside the U.S. in the past two years, proof of CBP agricultural inspection is required. These inspections can be conducted in most large U.S. ports.

Permits are required to enter Anan Creek Bear Observatory and Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary.

Glacier Bay National Park has changed the regulations for yachts to enter the park. Please contact the Ketchikan Office for more information on Glacier Bay National Park.


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