Arrival and departure at the Tunis ferry port
Getting to and from a foreign ferry port can be very tiring, nerve-wracking and complicated – everyone who has shipped their vehicle knows that. This is unfortunately no different in Tunisia.
With this report I would like to offer you a little help for your next arrival and departure in Tunis.
Arrival in Tunis:
– You can fill out the entry slip on the ferry (one per person and one per vehicle). You can usually find the notes near the reception. On the entry slip you have to enter general information (name, passport number, … if you scroll further down, you will see an example note with an explanation of the term)
– After arriving at the ferry port in Tunis, follow the lanes and the instructions of the port employees and go to the passport control with your vehicle. In front of the modern pass houses there are numerous lanes. The passports are checked and stamped.
– then you drive on to the X-ray with your vehicle
– then it goes on to customs control. There are also numerous lanes there. The vehicle is checked (possibly also checks of the luggage & interior). Local „helpers“ bring another entry slip and help fill them out (they expect a small tip for this, for example, 1-2 €).
– With the completed slip, you have to go to the small customs houses at the very front in the queues (take passports & car booklet with you!). Now the vehicle is entered in the owner’s passport with a stamp – when leaving the country it is checked whether the vehicle is leaving the country again.
– When everything is done, you can go to the end of the queue with the vehicle, hand over one of the slips of paper to the customs officer („Douane“) and hand over another entry slip to the police officer and drive through the barriers. Et voilá – you have successfully entered Tunisia 🙂
The entry procedure in Tunis is generally much more structured and regulated than, for example. in Tangier, Morocco.
Don’t forget: check before your arrival whether your car insurance is also valid in Tunisia! (Say: „TU“ or „TN“ must not be crossed out on the green insurance card.)
Departure from Tunis:
The exit procedure from Tunis can be „chaotic“ to say the least. The ferry port (called „LA GOULETTE„) is confusing and not well signposted. Serenity, a lot of patience and a strong nervous costume are required here!
– the most important point first: BE ON TIME AT THE FERRY TERMINAL!!! Make sure you know how many hours you have to be at the port before leaving the ferry! The best thing to do is to inform yourself by phone at the ferry company or drive past the harbor the day before and ask a local „helper“ there. Warning: on some ferries you have to be at the port disproportionately early (e.g. 8 hours before departure). If you are late, the gates are closed.
– First you have to „pick up your ferry ticket“. You do this at the small offices of the ferry companies (e.g. Grimaldi Lines, CTN or Grandi Navi Veloci). The offices are located at the coordinates: 36 ° 48’42.5 „N 10 ° 18’13.7“ E. You show your reservation and will be „checked in“. You will also receive an exit slip to fill out (looks exactly like the entry slip you filled out when you entered Tunisia).
Attention: be at the port in time! The offices are closed hours before departure. If you are late and cannot check in, you are not allowed on board. There are no other info points or booking offices in the port that could help you. (Unfortunately we speak from our own experience * uff *)
– With the ticket (check in) and the completed exit notes, you can line up with your vehicle in front of the harbor gates (coordinates: 36 ° 48’35.5 „N 10 ° 18’15.2“ E). Since you are at the port many hours before departure, the gates will still be closed. Now it’s time to wait … (Info: there are very clean, modern toilets and flying vendors on the premises who sell coffee, tea, cigarettes and souvenirs).
– As soon as the gates open, you can go to the passport and customs control with your vehicle. This is where chaos comes into play – it can happen that things are very turbulent on the premises. Sometimes the police and customs officers do not seem to know exactly what they are doing.
Don’t forget: serenity, calm and patience 🙂 so take a deep breath …
In any case, you will need to have passport control (where passports are stamped), customs control (where the vehicle is sometimes thoroughly controlled) and x-ray. The order in which all this happens appears to be at the sole discretion of the officials. It can also happen that you go through some sections twice. And it can happen that arriving and departing vehicles/travelers mix.
– after you have successfully completed all sections, you can line up in the large lanes in front of the ferries and nothing stands in the way of your journey home 🙂
We were personally in Tunisia in December 2019 (2 people + Toyota Hilux with camping cabin). We came to Tunis from Palermo and drove home from Tunis via Civitavecchia.
If the information in this report is no longer complete or correct, please do not hesitate to let me know.