Under the Executive Order on Access to and Conditions for Travelling in Certain Parts of Greenland (to download click HERE), a permit is required for travelling in various parts of Greenland with no public access.
Below is a map and description of where and when an expedition permit is required.
The areas where an access/ expedition permit is required and which are listed in section 1 of the Executive Order, comprise the whole of the inland ice with the glaciers issuing from it, the whole of the National Park in North and East Greenland and the adjoining sea territory, the ice-free area in East and Southeast Greenland until the Lindenow Fjord and the ice-free area in North Greenland North of latitude 78 °N.
Pursuant to section 2 of the Executive Order, no permit is required for travelling:
- in a limited area north of the town of Qaanaaq between latitudes 78º N and 79º N west of longitude 66º W
- in Illoqqortoormiit in the area extending from the town and to the National Park, towards the west to longitude 29º W and towards the south to latitude 70º N find detailed map HERE
- in the area extending up to 150 km from the centre of Tasiilaq
The purpose of this limitation is to avoid impeding the local trekking tourism and tourist activities near the inhabited areas.
See below map for an overview of the areas where an access/expedition permit is required.
Download map HERE
In addition, out of regard for the local tourism in the entire rim area of the inland ice, no permit is required for trips of less than 24 hours duration. This implies that, for example, expedition participants will be able to stay at the localities listed in section 1 of the Executive Order without applying for a permit if their stay lasts less than 24 hours (section 3 of the Executive Order)
However, it should be noted that a permit from the Government of Greenland is always required for travelling in the National Park pursuant to the Executive Order No. 7 of June 1992 on the National Park in North and East Greenland, even though the trip lasts less than 24 hours.
Pursuant to section 3(2) of the Executive Order, a permit is required for sailing in the area referred to in section 1 of the Executive Order, regardless of the duration of the trip. In practice, this means that cruise vessels and other vessels sailing closer than 3 nautical miles from the baseline of the National Park in North and East Greenland must have a travel permit before they sail into the area. This applies whether or not the trip lasts less than 24 hours.
Moreover, no permit is required for ordinary traffic and travelling on the occasion of usual fishing and hunting activities in the areas listed in section 1 of the Executive Order and carried out by persons permanently residing in Greenland, cf. section 4 of the Executive Order.
According to section 5 of the Executive Order, travelling in the areas listed in section 1 of the Executive Order in connection with the exploration or production of mineral resources does not fall within the scope of part 1 of the order. The reason fro this is that such activities are governed by exploration and production concessions, cf. the Act on Mineral resources in Greenland, administered by the Bureau of Minerals and petroleum under the Government of Greenland.
Finally, according to section 14 of the Executive Order, travelling in the areas listed in section 1 do not apply to NATO’s military authorities, Danish military authorities or other Government authorities, the authorities of the government of Greenland or municipal authorities in Greenland.
The following is a list of these authorities for Greenland and Denmark:
- Grønlands Selvstyre
- Kommuneqarfik Sermersooq
- Qaasuitsup Kommunia
- Qeqqata Kommunia
- Kommune Kujalleq
- Grønlands Naturinstitut
- Grønlands Nationalmuseum og Arkiv
- Det Nationale Geologiske Undersøgelser for DK og GL- GEUS
- Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut- DMI
- Kort og Matrikelstyrelsen- KMS
- DTU Space
The Executive Order thus lays down no restrictions on the exercise of authority, nor does it lay down restrictions on the right of access enjoyed by person associated with the U.S. military presence ion the defence area at Thule Air base.
For safety reasons, the Ministry of Housing, Nature and Environment must be notified by the authorities listed in section 14 (1) of the Order whenever any such authority is travelling in the areas listed in section 1 of the order before the authority commences its trip in the area. However, this duty of notification does not apply to military activities, cf. section 14 (3) of the Order.