LP 89/2016 Dakar Senegal - advice for avoiding customs fines and stowaways


We have noted over the last weeks an increasing amount of fines of various types being inflicted by the Senegalese Customs Authorities who appear to be applying the existing Customs Code with increased vigour and are paying closer attention to the details contained in each ship's declarations of manifests, ship stores and bunkers.

We would therefore recommend that your Members instruct the Master to:

1- Prepare his Dakar custom's declarations well prior berthing, having already requested in advance the written confirmation of the latest requirements in this respect from his local agent.

2- Personally receive the Customs officers on board for formalities, in company with the ship's agent.

3- Ensure that ALL products on board, including bunkers (Fuel oil, Diesel oil, Lube oil), food, paint, stationery, crew personal effects etc., have been accurately declared.

4- Place all the Customs papers in a separate file to be checked by the ship's agent BEFORE their presentation to the Customs boarding Officer.

5- Check that any modification to manifest is properly completed and declared and sign no document submitted by the Customs without fully understanding its contents.

If the Master is unable to fully complete all the declarations in accordance with the latest Customs rulings before the ship is safely alongside, he should delay lowering the gangway until he is fully satisfied that all is finally in order.


Furthermore, we would also like to draw your attention on the fact that many stowaways are often discovered on board ships leaving Dakar.

In order to prevent the risk of stowaways boarding while the ship is at berth, the crew has to be very attentive/vigilant during the vessel's entire call. After discharge operations they should perform an efficient investigation/search aboard in order to see if there is any stowaway hidden anywhere aboard.

Security has to be also observed by ship's crew after the disembarkation of outgoing pilot and until clear from the outer roads, in order to avoid access of stowaway on board.

Please note that as per Senegalese Immigration law, any (foreign) stowaway discovered on board a vessel must be compulsorily repatriated to his homeland and all costs related to his disembarkation and repatriation shall be borne by the ship owners. 



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