We spent just over 6 weeks in Morocco with our good friends Catherine and Chris from The World Is Our Lobster. We’d highly recommend that you go and attempt it yourselves! We’ve had a couple of e-mails asking us for more information on the crossing, so here is our long awaited guide to getting in (and out!) of Morocco.
Choose where to sail from
We sailed from Algeciras to Ceuta. The crossing is shorter than the route to Tangier and once you disembark the ferry you are still in Spanish sovereignty so you then have an opportunity to park in the rest area before the border crossing.
|Rest Area before the Border Crossing|
However, en route home we passed the brand new Tangier Med port and were impressed by what looks like an incredibly modern port set outside of the city. The port appeared to have none of the hustle and bustle that can be seen at the Ceuta-Morocco border. This would be our preference for our future visit and we’ll report back once we’ve done it for ourselves.
Get your tickets
We would recommend that you follow the French example and purchase your tickets from Carlos in Algeciras. These tickets are NOT as some people would lead you to believe cancelled tickets, tickets with other people’s names on or other such scaremongering. Carlos is a licensed ticket seller and his reputation precedes him when dealing with motorhomers. The tickets are printed with your information on and he is able to give you lots of helpful advice and directions to the port although a little Spanish is advantageous!
When you arrive, park next to the Lidl in Algercias (GPS: 36.18136, -5.43977 and if you don't believe us just check all the motorhomes on Google Maps HERE!). They are very tolerant of motorhomes parking and overnighting here since the majority of people do a large shop before departing. There is even a butcher selling largely pork products which are unavailable in the Muslim country. Don’t forget to stock up on Wine / Beer – this is expensive in Morocco and better than hard currency when trading with native Moroccans!
Carlos is located here, just a two minute walk from the car park. Take with you a copy of your vehicles V5 certificate and your passport and tell him when you wish to sail to Morocco and that you would like an open return.
The Border Crossing
2. Vehicle import
Ignore the apparent chaos at the border and focus on achieving these three steps in that order.
As you approach, men will wave bits of paper at you. If you have been to Carlos for your ticket, you don't need any further paperwork, so you can safely ignore the paper-wavers.
If there are two of you, one can stay in the vehicle. Once you enter the fray, “helpers” will offer to assist. Look for ones with an official badge. You can either be firm and say “No thanks, I'm fine”, or graciously accept and tip them €5, which may be the more pleasant experience for the sake of a few quid, especially if it's your first crossing.
The first office you need clearly says “Police”. Complete your entry form and hand it over together with your passport. You will get a stamp, plus an official Moroccan immigration number. That's it. Move on to any of the offices saying “Enregistrement des Vehicules”.
Queues here are often slow, so be patient but firm; stand your ground or people will push in. Here you hand over the first copy (out of three) of the Vehicle Import Form, plus your V5 and Green Card. If you have bought your ticket from Carlos, he will have already completed the Import Form for you; just hand it in. If not, fill in the details from your V5. You will get the form back with the appropriate stamp.
Now comes the fun part as you attempt to drive past all the other queueing vehicles to the Customs Officer, squeezing past stationary cars, buses and motorhomes! The Customs Officer may well look in the van but customs is quite relaxed. Then take the Vehicle Import Form to the customs office, and you're done.
Finally don't forget to tip your helper if you used one!
You do not require a Visa to enter Morocco for a maximum of 90 days. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your entry date. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days the only way you can do this is by becoming a resident.
If you are planning on visiting Morocco it is worthwhile considering this when you renew or take out your motorhome policy. Saga, Comfort and Sageguard all cover Morocco at no extra charge and are able to provide you with a 90 day ‘Green Card’ which covers you fully comprehensively while in the country. If you have a vehicle of any value don’t consider buying insurance at the border.
Immigration Forms - Entry and Exit Ferry Tickets
Vehicle Import and Export Form Tickets and Timetable
Moroccan Insurance Green Card
our insurers Safe Guard from home. Valid 90 days (with start date)
‘Western’ cash points are available throughout the country and have an English language option. We stopped a couple of miles after the border crossing for our first batch of Dirhams. It is worthwhile taking a couple of hundred euros as a backup which can easily be changed for Dirham at many bureau-de-change across the country. Exercise the same amount of caution when using these as you would in any other country.
Our preference for foreign travel is the Halifax Clarity Credit Card. The card provides you with interest free transactions and a low 1.1% interest fee on cash withdrawls offset by a £5 per month reward if you spend over £300.
If you use the Caxton Euro Card be aware that you will be paying two lots of interest rates Sterling > Euro > Dirham. Consider the Global card where the balance is held in Sterling and converted to the local currency on use.
Cards are rarely accepted. Marjane and some large fuel stations are the only exceptions.
On exiting, the process is simpler. Complete your exit form and hand it in to the Police Office with your passport. Then go to Customs and hand in the second copy of your Vehicle Import Form. The third copy is for you to keep.
Drive through Customs, stopping if asked. That's it.
Diesel is roughly 55p a litre in Morocco and is available throughout the country. It is worthwhile filling up from the more modern looking fuel stations (Afrqua, Shell etc). Be aware that if you intend to stop overnight in the high atlas temperatures could reach as low as -10 (experienced by us in 2012) and there is unlikely to be any winter additives added to the mix.
For more information see:
• Maroc Telecom Dongle
• View All Our Posts on Morocco