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SENEGAL: Port of Dakar Officials Impose Higher Fines

Officials at the Port of Dakar are imposing severe and unpredictable customs fines for cargo shortfalls, according to reports.

Republic of Senegal customs authorities at the Port of Dakar, the third largest port in West Africa, are imposing the fines on bagged and bulk shipments, according to a number of warnings issued by industry sources. TCI Africa, a long-established professional independent consultant to the marine insurance sector, which act as superintendent for sea carriers trading to the African continent, has released a report, a mutual marine insurance company, warning of the matter.

The report, dated 30 October 2019, states: “Authorities have taken the decision to follow up discharge operations of vessels carrying bagged or bulk cereals, and other bulk cargo in order to sanction any substantial shortage or excess of cargo recorded by their own surveyor or by stevedores… and have taken a new stance on the level of fines which has significantly increased over the last weeks.” TCI Africa cites an example of a company being fined around EUR305,000 (US$336,000) for mistakes on its cargo manifest.

The consultants recommend that Dakar customs declarations should be prepared carefully prior to berthing. Customs officers should be formally received on board for form submission and in the company of the shipping agent; all consumables on board, including bunkers, lube oil, crew’s personal effects, and stores, should be accurately declared; and all customs documentation placed in a separate folder counter-checked by the shipping agent before presentation to the customs boarding officer. The Korea Protection and Indemnity Club and the Shipowners’ Club also issued similar warnings and recommendations to their members in November regarding the fines.

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