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Along with the mechanics of entering the port, there are the necessary bureaucratic clearance formalities to be dealt with.

5.10.1 Health clearance
The ship must either request 'free pratique', or declare that there have been indications of infectious disease on board during the voyage and provide a signed maritime declaration of health.
In the first case the vessel will be boarded by customs and immigration authorities, who will grant free pratique. In the latter case, a health official will also board with them and no other persons are permitted to embark until the health official has granted the ship free pratique.
When pratique has been issued, shore personnel can embark to complete the connection of the cargo arms/hoses and to begin cargo gauging.

5.10.2 Customs and immigration clearance
The master must present the necessary entry documentation to the customs officials including cargo, stores and crew declarations for the payment of necessary duties.
The immigration officer will receive the crew list and crew passports for examination. He may cause the crew to be mustered and appear before him individually for examination. No crew members can leave the ship until this formality is complete.
When the ship has been cleared by the customs and immigration authorities, the discharge of cargo can commence and the crew may disembark as necessary. The master and/or agent will report to the custom house and enter the ship formally within 24 hours of arrival.
The documents required for the port are indicated in any of several 'guide to port entry' publications, one of which should be provided to the master by owners.

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