Web alert: Customs fines in Senegal - A cautionary note
News & Insights 18 May 2015
This web alert addresses the current trend being observed in Senegalese ports, particularly Dakar, of the local customs authorities carrying out thorough investigations on board and imposing high fines on ships.
This web alert addresses the current trend being observed in Senegalese ports, particularly Dakar, of the local customs authorities carrying out thorough investigations on board and imposing high fines on ships calling at Senegal where differences are noted in the ship’s declarations for stores, paints, bunkers, lube oils etc., compared with the actual quantities on board.
Our local correspondents have informed us that, as soon as a ship berths at a Senegalese port, a small team of local customs officials will go on board and perform extensive and detailed searches, paying close attention to the ship’s general manifest and declarations, including ship stores and bunkers. In the event of any discrepancy, a fine can expected to be levied on the ship.
In the light of the above, we highly recommend members calling at Senegalese ports to take the following precautions:
- Ensure the Master has prepared the customs declaration well in advance of berthing.
- If the Master is unable to fully complete all declarations prior to berthing, the ship should not berth until everything is in order.
- Make sure that all items on board, including: bunkers, food, paint, stationary and crew personal effects have been accurately declared and inserted into the customs declaration.
- Ensure any modification to the manifest document is properly completed and declared.
- Instruct the Master to keep all customs papers in a separate file, to be checked by the ship’s agent before presenting these documents to the customs authorities.
- Give clear instructions to the Master to personally welcome the customs officers on board, together with the ship’s agents (who should be on board already), and assist them carrying out the formality checks.
- Clearly instruct the Master to sign no document submitted by the customs authorities unless he fully understand its contents.
In addition to the above, the Senegalese customs authorities will likely request several documents from the Master during their attendance on board. These are likely to include:
- Paint inventory
- Crew list
- Cargo manifest with goods in transit
- Crew effects declaration
- Ports of call list
- Bonded store declaration
- Chemicals declaration
- Bunker declaration (fuel oil, diesel oil and lube oil including: oil in tanks and in sump tanks, oil in drums, oil in cans and used oil (sludge))
We highly recommend that our members share the above information, and list of documents, with the Master, well in advance of any call to a Senegalese port, so as to ensure the ship is ready for the customs inspection.
For further details and guidance with regard to the above, our members can always contact the club or our local correspondents at email@example.com.