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Customs formalities for yachts calling at Brest

If you're calling at Brest, it's essential to understand the customs formalities that apply to you. Customs regulations apply to all yachtsmen and yachtswomen, whether they are sailing small sailing boats or larger yachts. These formalities are designed to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations in force when entering and leaving French territory.

Customs formalities for yachts calling at Brest: who is affected?

Border checks are compulsory if:

  • You are entering France by sea from a country that is not part of the Schengen area.
  • You are leaving France by sea for a country outside the Schengen area.

These customs formalities apply whether you are sailing on your own boat or on a charter boat.

All persons on board are subject to border checks, regardless of their nationality.

What documents do I need to clear customs?

Before calling at Brest, you must send the entry or exit form by e-mail to the customs office, with a copy to the Brest marina concerned by your call.

This form contains all the important information concerning your arrival in Brest, the boat and the people on board. It must be sent to customs at least 24 hours before your arrival.

You will then be contacted by customs officers who will arrange to meet you at the Brest customs office.

At this appointment, each passenger must have a valid passport. Make sure you also bring the boat's papers.

Where is the customs office in Brest?

The Brest customs office is located at 14 quai de la douane, just a few minutes' walk from Marina du Château.

What other maritime border crossings are there in Brittany?

Brittany has 6 maritime border crossings:

  • Saint-Malo
  • Saint-Brieuc
  • Roscoff
  • Brest
  • Lorient
  • Saint-Nazaire

Do you have a question about customs formalities? Visit the customs website. You can also contact us at any time!

Calling at Brest

Whether you're an experienced sailor or a budding yachtsman, Brest's marinas welcome you all year round. Discover Brest, its bay and two marinas!

Marina du Château, Marina du Moulin Blanc : which marina to choose ?

Brest's marinas have different characteristics. Depending on your needs, one of them will be best suited to your stay. We explain everything to help you make your choice.

A stopover at Marina du Château

Marina du Château is the first marina that you can go to when arriving at Brest. The marina is ideally located close to the city-center.

It is well protected by the military harbor, making it an ideal stopover whatever the weather.

Near Marina du Château :

  • Restaurants and bars to discover the local gastronomy and atmosphere.
  • Customs office: just a few minutes' walk from Marina du Château.
  • The train station: just a 15-minute walk from the port!
  • The Musée de la Marine: located just above the marina, a 5-minute walk away. The perfect opportunity to discover Brest's maritime history.
  • Rue de Siam and the city-center: a 15-minute walk will take you to the city center.
  • Cable car: beyond rue de Siam, you can easily take the cable car to the ateliers des Capucins.
  • Public transport: you'll find bus stops at the commercial harbour and in the city-center, where you can also take the tram to get around Brest quickly.

A stopover at Marina du Moulin Blanc

The Marina du Moulin Blanc is located at the mouth of the River Élorn.

Situated next to Océanopolis and the Stang-Alar valley, the marina is perfect for a quiet stopover.

The port has a handling service and a careening area, which can be useful if you have technical needs.

Near Marina du Moulin Blanc:

  • Restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the local cuisine and typical Brest atmosphere.
  • Sailmakers, shipyards, dealers: many yachting professionals are located not far from the marina, and will be able to meet your needs.
  • Océanopolis: the scientific culture centre dedicated to the ocean, a must-see in Brest.
  • The Stang-Alar valley: enjoy a peaceful stroll in the valley. You can also visit the botanical garden of Brest.

Calling at Brest: procedure for entering the marina

To ensure that your arrival goes as smoothly as possible, here is the procedure to follow when you arrive near the marina you wish to call at:

  • Call by radio on channel 9: give the name of your boat, its dimensions and the duration of your stay.

The marina teams will show you a suitable berth either in the annual contract pontoon, or on the visitor pontoon.
During the season, we do our best to meet you on the water and accompany you to your berth. However, if it is very busy, you may have to wait for a while, or you may be asked to go to your berth on your own.
Out of season, or outside harbour office opening hours, you can moor directly at the visitor pontoon.

  • Register with the harbour office: whether you have called at Brest before or are coming for the first time, you need to register with the harbour office.

Make sure you have the boat's papers so that you can fill in your port of call form correctly.
It's also when you check in that you'll get the access codes for the pontoons and toilets, the wifi code, and all the information you need for your stay in Brest.

  • Declare yourself at the customs office: if you are coming from outside the Schengen area, you must declare yourself at the customs office located 3 minutes' walk from the Marina du Château at 14 quai de la douane.

Special case: the quai du Commandant Malbert at the Marina du Château.

Reserved for larger vessels, the Quai Malbert pontoon is located within the commercial harbour. If you are allocated this berth by the harbour agents, you should call the Marina on channel 9 when you arrive, and then channel 12 to inform the commercial port of your arrival.

What to do in Brest during a stopover

There's plenty to see and do in Brest, even if you're only staying a few days.

Sports activities

Would you like to do some sport during your holidays? Here are a few ideas for activities that will allow you to discover Brest at the same time:

  • Nautical activities: kayak, paddle, light sailing, sail in Brest harbour thanks to Brest Bretagne Nautisme.
  • Cycling : hire a bike to discover Brest and the surrounding area.
  • Swimming pools: there are several swimming pools in Brest where you can go swimming. You'll find the Spadium Parc close to the Moulin Blanc harbour.
  • Hiking: take the GR34 and discover the coastal paths from Brest.

Cultural activities

Brest is a dynamic city in terms of culture. There's something for everyone.

You can enjoy a show at Le Quartz, the Maritime Festival of Brest, held every four years, or the museums and historic sites in the city centre.

The must-see places in Brest are :

  • Océanopolis
  • The botanical garden
  • The Musée de la Marine
  • The Arts Museum
  • The Sadi Carnot shelter
  • The ateliers des Capucins home in particular to the 70.8 by Océanopolis and the Emprereur rowing boat
  • The Rue de Saint-Malo
  • Tanguy tower
  • The maison de la Fontaine (Fountain House)
  • The jardin des Explorateurs (Explorers Garden)

See you soon on the pontoons!