The following describes requirements, conditions, as well as special materials pertaining to particular coastal States and areas that should be included with an MSR application. This list is not necessarily complete or exhaustive; it is based on the experience of OPA in facilitating research authorizations and is provided as guidance to applicants. The listed requirements, links to internet sites, and forms should not be construed as an endorsement by the Government of the United States of the views or content contained therein. If a link is inactive below, please contact OPA (202-647-0240) to obtain the guidance/materials.


  • Letter addressed to the Harbor Master requesting permission for the cruise.
  • Letter addressed to the Ministry of Transport requesting permission for the cruise.


  • Prior collaboration with an Angolan scientist is absolutely necessary for clearance.


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.
  • Spanish version of the name of all claimed territories.


  • Include the special permit application form(s) if research is to be conducted:
    • In a commonwealth park or reserve
    • On marine mammals; and/or
    • Within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship must be in receipt of maritime crew visa (MCV) applications for every person aboard the research platform.
  • Details of any relationship between the proposed research and any agreement between Australia and the requesting State.
  • Line drawing or photograph of the research platform.
  • When research is planned within three (3) nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline, there may be requirements or conditions pursuant to the legislation of the adjacent Australian State or Territory.
  • (If applicable) Submit Public Vessel Status permit via the ships agent no less than two months in advance of the first port call.


  • NOTE: Vessels are required to clear into an official port-of-entry prior to commencing any activities and clear out at a port-of-exit upon completion of the cruise. This requirement has been waived in the past under no particular circumstances.


  • NOTE: Mooring Notice to Operators (Subsurface Moorings in Bermuda Time-Series Area). This notice is to warn ship operators and cruise scientists of the presence of several subsurface and surface moorings located near the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Site (31o40'N 64o10'W).


  • UN Standard Application Form in Portuguese.
  • Estimated coordinates and time (Zulu) of entry and departure point of territorial waters.
  • Include the National Telecommunication Agency (ANATEL) Radio Frequency Form.
  • If calling at a Brazillian port, complete a Port Access Form (required no later than 90 days in advance).
  • Copy of collaboration agreement with a Brazilian research institute/agency.


  • Obtain “Foreign Fishing Vessel License” from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans - Canada. Contact:
    • East Coast licenses, Connie Farr (902-426-6453)
    • West Coast licenses, Barry Ackerman (604-666-3991)
  • NOTE: Canada does not require a Coasting Trade license from the Canadian Transportation Agency if you have research authorization.


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.
  • NOTE: No clearance is required to test on-board instrumentation, as long as the data taken is not kept for archival or publication purposes. Notification is recommended.


  • Application MUST be submitted six months in advance.
  • If the research includes a Chinese partner, the application should be submitted solely by the Chinese partner to the State Oceanic Administration, not via the U.S. Embassy.


  • Applications MUST be submitted at least six months in advance. To allow for processing, all required materials must be submitted via RATS at least two weeks prior.
  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.
  • Copy of the “existence and legal status of the entity applying for research (such as Articles of Incorporation). If application is made through a representative, it must be accompanied by an official document certifying that they represent the applicant entity.”
  • CV and copy of the photo page of every member of the science team.
  • If a research vessel is used, submit the vessel’s International Tonnage Certificate, International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate, Safety Management Certificate, and International Load Line Certificate, certified copy of the navigation license and registration (such as Certificate of Registry, a Certificate of Ship’s Particulars, or a vessel registration issued by a state authority).
  • Projects that involve the study of biological resources require 1) one or more Colombian co-researchers that will participate in the research or that will contribute to the project’s monitoring and evaluation; 2) submission of Form 1 of Resolution 068 of 2002 under cover of a written request to the competent environmental authority in the area of interest; and 3) once the Form is submitted, publish an extract of the submitted form in a newspaper of national, regional or local circulation. The extract must contain, at the least, the name of the institution conducting the study, the project title, a description of the scope of the research or institutional research program, the geographic area of the study, and the names of the specimens or samples of biological diversity that will be studied.


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish. All additional supporting documentation must be provided in Spanish.
  • If conducting research in a national park, include a written request for the ship, crew, and passengers to enter the national park.
  • The Ministerio del Ambiente y Energia, Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion “research passport” fee of 30 USD. Contact OPA for check routing information. Note that the original receipt must be snail-mailed to “Embajada Americana c/o ESTH Officer, Pavas, San Jose, COSTA RICA”
  • Provide copies of the passports for each member of the scientific party.


  • Fees:
    • Entering the territorial sea (12nm from shore) – 90 kunas (20 kunas for the request, 70 kunas for the authorization).
    • Scientific research - 70 kunas (20 kunas for the request, 50 kunas for the authorization).


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.


  • If the research will be conducted within three nautical miles from the Danish baselines, the Danish authorities require the presence of a Danish scientist on board the research platform.
  • Include the Danish Polar Center Application Form if the research involves:
    • activities in the National Park,
    • activities in Qimuseriarssuaq / Melville Bay nature reserve,
    • activities in Arnangarnup Qoorua / Sarfartoq valley nature reserve,
    • activities at Thule Air Base,
    • geoscience,
    • launching of balloons,
    • application of laser beams,
    • outdoor installation of antennas or instruments,
    • items harmful to the environment,
    • low level flying,
    • air drops,
    • catching, killing, tagging or ringing of fish, mammals or birds, or
    • activities on fjord / sea ice.


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.
  • Copy of the ship's license/registration.
  • Galapagos National Park permit application, if applicable.
  • Letter on institution letterhead listing:
    • Name and address of the representative or empowered agent in Ecuador;
    • Commitment to deliver to the Ecuadorian Government, with no cost, of the complete results and conclusions of the developed research; and
    • Commitment to observe the regulations of marine environment preservation and compensation.


  • NOTE: RV must conform to Suez Canal Authority (SCA) regulations, which require a USCG-issued Suez Tonnage Certificate.


  • NOTE: since issuance of authorization requires legislative approval by the Salvadoran Assembly, applicants should take this into consideration when estimating the lead time requirements for submitting applications.
  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.


  • FSM’s MSR Application Form (contact OPA for copy)


  • See also DENMARK


  • Notarized load line certificate.
  • If conducting research within a protected area, a National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP) license is required, the application for which includes:
  • Copy (pdf) of the Chief Scientist’s passport
  • Letter of “commitment” from the Chief Scientist addressed to the Executive Secretary of CONAP.
  • Letter of endorsement from a Guatemalan university/institution, signed by the head of the most relevant department, acknowledging awareness and legitimacy of the proposed research.
  • If scientific fishing, a permit must be obtained, in person, from UNIPESCA.
  • NOTE: A fee is required for research authorizations (aprx USD 100), and other fees are charged for CITES permits (aprx USD 15) and Certificates of Origin (aprx USD 9).


  • An abstract and detailed research proposal.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a collaborator within the most relevant Indonesian organization (such as the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, LIPI) or ministry, for example:
    • Ministry of Research and Technology (MENRISTEK) Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT)
    • Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
    • Badan Informasi Geospasial (BIG, formerly BAKOSURTANAL)

The MOU should cover all matters of collaboration, including materials transfer, sample collection, transport, and export, and breakdown of financial responsibility for costs of collaboration.

  • A letter of endorsement from the Indonesian collaborator and his/her ministry; it is recommended that this collaborator attend the biweekly meetings of Indonesia’s Foreign Research Permit Coordinating Committee (22 agencies) to address any related questions or concerns related to the application.
  • For the Chief Scientist, two letters regarding his/her qualifications, one from the funding/home institution and one from a supervisor.
  • For every scientist and technician, provide a copy of the passport ID page, CV (including a list of publications), health certificate (proof of fitness to conduct research in Indonesia), four recent red background passport size (4x6 cm) photographs, two copies of 2x3 cm size photographs, and the location of the Indonesian Embassy through which a “Visa 315” research visa will be requested. (Upon issuance of a permit, MENRISTEK directs the designated consulates to issue the visas to the scientists & technicians.)
  • A list of the equipment brought into Indonesia to support the research, including the value of these equipment stated in US dollars.
  • The MENRISTEK Research Permit Application that should be submitted online as instructed.
  • The Ministry of Forestry Research Permit Application if the research will be conducted within one or more marine protected areas.
  • Following receipt of the MENRISTEK “research permit” obtain a “research vessel permit”, aka Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT) (such request is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ship and Flight Clearance Division, the Chief Foreign Liaison of TNI Headquarters, and the Ministry of Transportation). CAIT may be submitted by either the U.S. Embassy or a designated ship’s agent.


  • The exact geographic areas in which the research is to take place, and in particular the indication by geographic coordinates of the places of research and/or sampling, possible deep anchorage's and/or the terminal points of the contour lines. The geographic coordinates of all points must be shown on nautical charts of an adequate scale, with reference to the prime meridian of Greenwich, and particularly detailed in cases in which the programmed surveys are carried out in proximity to the coast or the islands.
  • In the case of seismic operations, the characteristics of the energizing system employed and its power. If explosive charges are used, the exact geographic coordinates, the depth of every single point of explosion, the type and quantity of explosives used, and the exact day and hour of the explosions should be given.
  • In case of dredging operations, the geographic coordinates of the starting and end points must be given.


  • Letter of support from host country researcher or institution.
  • Complete list of scientific film and data recording equipment.
  • Indication of funding resources.
  • If applicable, the Wildlife Research Form.


  • Japan’s MSR Application Form – if collecting biological samples, be sure to include Annex II.
  • Provide Japanese translation for the description of the research.
  • Crew list (name, DOB, citizenship, passport number, and passport expiration date)
  • Provide diagram and specification of any equipment that will operate autonomously from the man-based research platform.
  • If dates and/or routes are unpredictable, avoid the use of terms “approximately” or “generally”; instead, describe as follows “data will be collected within the route shown in the attached chart, however the route may change due to unforeseen weather conditions”
  • If any equipment will touch the seafloor, be sure to provide an estimate of dates and location coordinates.
  • NOTE: if operating within the 12nm territorial sea of Japan, obtain charts from the Japan Hydrographic Association.
  • Indicate (on the application form) the need for navigation/aviation restrictions around the research vessel and research instruments.
  • Photo of the research platform (vessel, AUV, etc).


  • Kiribati’s MSR Application Form (contact OPA for copy)
  • $200 USD Application Fee (contact OPA for routing information)


  • Include the possible environmental impacts of the research, what environmental precautions are being taken, and whether the purpose of the research is for commercial purposes or not.


  • Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) Forms for protected species and sites, if applicable.


  • Applications MUST be submitted at least six months in advance. To allow for processing, all required materials must be submitted via RATS at least two weeks prior.
  • All information must be provided in Spanish (do not include an English translation of any of the materials listed below).
  • Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE) Form (provided in lieu of UN Standard Form A).
  • Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) Form is required if the research involves collection of biological samples or specimens.
  • National Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CONAPESCA) Form is required if the research involves collection of marine species or marine sediments.
  • National Institute for Statistics, Geography and Systems Information (INEGI) Form is required if the research involves studies and/or geographical explorations in Mexican territory, aerial surveying, or remote sensing.
  • Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) Radio Frequencies Form is required if ships or aircraft are used.
  • A letter addressed “To Mexican Government Agencies” from the head of the chief scientist’s institution and the head of the Mexican collaborator’s institution endorsing the research, describing the respective participation of the collaborators, and expressing agreement to share and safeguard samples if specimens or samples are collected.
  • A letter addressed ‘”To Whom it May Concern” from the chief scientist committing not to use harmful methodologies that may be detrimental to the ecosystem and/or wildlife of the proposed research site.
  • Copy of the passport plus two passport-sized photographs of both the chief scientist and, if applicable, the co-chief scientist.
  • A tentative list of all participants, including name, citizenship, affiliation, expertise, and role in the proposed project, and include a brief CV for each scientist (CVs do not need to be translated). Indicate when a final list will be provided, and - at that time - provide an updated brief CV for each scientist.
  • If aircraft are used, include flight track, copy of the pilot's license, copy of the aircraft's registration, copy of the aircraft's Certificate of Airworthiness, and copy of the aircraft's insurance policy or letter to SRE from the owner committing to cover any expenses that may result in case of an accident.
  • Scientists who enter Mexico must obtain a Mexican visa (visa de cooperante). This can be acquired through the nearest Mexican consulate. Applicants must have received authorization for the research prior to obtaining this visa.
  • If applicable, payment of the fee for extraction of biological samples ($13,522.00 pesos, approximately $1040 USD) made with an international draft or cashier’s check funds payable to "La Tesoreria de la Federacion" via any of the banking institutions in the Federal District of Mexico City. Scientists working under formal joint agreements with a Mexican government or private institution, or with a Mexican scientist certified by Mexico's National Researchers System (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores – SNI), will be exempted from paying this fee.


  • CV of ship captain.
  • INMARSAT number, radar and sonar frequencies.
  • List government agency responsible for supervising the project (if applicable).
  • Crew list with role, passport numbers & dates of birth
  • If research occurs within a marine reserve, include the “Scientific Research in a Marine Reserve Application Form” – available at
  • If the research takes place in the territorial sea (within 12nm from shore), then work visas will be required.
  • If the research involves the taking of marine life, include a Ministry of Primary Industries Special Permit Application Form and the associated FishServe Client Application Form; there is a processing fee of NZ $133.88/hr; contact OPA for forms and payment routing information.


  • Copies (pdf) of:
    • International Load Line Certificate (American Bureau of Shipping)
    • Classification Documentation/Registration
    • Certificate of Inspection/Seaworthiness – obtained from port of embarkation


  • The following documents must be submitted in hard copy with wet signatures to: Economic Section, c/o Economic Specialist, US Embassy Lima, Av. La Encalada, cuadra 17, Monterrico, Lima 33, Peru. Scanned pdfs of the same should be uploaded to RATS as well:
  • Form DGCHD-008 (request for authorization to conduct fisheries research with or without removal of specimens or samples)
  • Notarized letter from the Chief Scientist to the Director General de Extracction y Produccion Pesquera para Consumo Humano stating that the Peruvian maritime agent is your legal representative in Peru – this letter must also be signed by the agent. (Regardless of plans for calling at a Peruvian port, secure a maritime agent with offices in Peru. The agent will be responsible for submitting documents to the National Port Authority, aka APN.)
  • Research proposal, signed on each page.
  • Sworn statement that encouraging the participation of Peruvian scientists from El Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE) or any other institution identified by the Director General de Extracction y Produccion Pesquera para Consumo Humano.
  • Letter from the Chief Scientist to the Director General de Transporte Aquatico requesting authorization for research.
  • Letter from the Chief Scientist to the Director General de Control de Actividades Aquatica, addressing:
    • General information and details of the request.
    • Name and general description of the vessel.
    • Name of the Agent and authorized representative.
    • Copies (pdf) of the following, with Spanish translation:
      • Vessel Registry Certificate
      • International Protection Certification for Vessels and Port Facilities
      • Construction Safety Certification
      • Equipment Safety Certification
      • Radio Safety Certification
      • Freeboard Safety Certification
      • Civil Liability Safety Certification
      • Safety and Security Management Certification
      • Taxpayer Registry of the Maritime Agent Third-Party Civil Liability Insurance Policy, if applicable
      • International Tonnage Certificate (if applicable)
      • Load Line Certificate (if applicable)
      • Document of Compliance (if applicable)
      • International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate
      • Additional certificates required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)


  • Application MUST be submitted six months in advance.
  • Russian Federation’s MSR Form in Russian.
  • Regarding applicant’s prior marine scientific research in areas under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, provide documents confirming submission of samples -- or the reason for not submitting samples and data -- to the Russian Federation.


  • Saudi Arabia’s MSR Form
  • Review the Marine Research Regulations in the booklet Marine Research Regulations in the Marine Territories of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


  • National Aquatic Resources Research & Development Agency may request an MOU be negotiated and signed.


  • Applications MUST be submitted at least six months in advance. To allow for processing, all required materials must be submitted via RATS at least two weeks prior.
  • Taiwan’s MSR Form
  • NOTE: Research within 24 nautical miles of Taiwan is generally not permitted.


  • Provide a spreadsheet of the geographical areas in which the project is to be conducted (with reference in latitude and longitude in decimal degrees, including coordinates of cruise track/way points/sampling stations).


  • UN Standard Application Form in Spanish.
  • Photocopies of passports of the Captain and P.I.
  • Direct and indirect environmental impact assessment of the project.
  • CV of Venezuelan counterpart. Contact Mr. Perez Nieto, President of the Oceanology Commission at (58416) 6056589, to request support to determine which would be the ideal Venezuelan institutions interested in participating in the project.
  • Copy of vessel registration.


  • Indicate possible technology transfer to Vietnam.