According to Gard P&I Club’s correspondent in Argentina, ship operators continue to be fined for alleged inaccuracies when filing customs declarations at Argentine ports.
n particular, Gard’s correspondent, Sigvart G.J. Simonsen & Cia. S.R.L, reports that claims related to custom fines are once again on the rise in Argentina. Therefore, it is advisable to pay utmost attention when declaring to the following goods:
- Paints & thinner in liters must be declared; also all chemicals on board (including soep) i.e chemicals for holds cleaning, engine
maintenance, oil spillage, grease, etc). these items will be inspected by counting can-by-can;
- Bunkers (fuel oil, diesel oil, lube oil and all oils in use. such as main engine sump tank, steering oil, hydraulic oil. these
items will be inspected by measuring the corresponding tanks and drums even those which are half empty will be measured);
- Electronics, all appliances (vessel’s and personal effects) must be declared, e.g. tv sets, computers, tablets, fax machines, photocopy
machines video tape players, microwaves, dvd’s players, binoculars, cell phones, washing machines, printers, etc);
- Cigarettes (in units) & spirits (in liters);
- Spare parts from engine (engine inventory) and deck (deck inventory) i.e. pistons, propeller, anchor chain, ball bearings, hoses, welding & cutting equipments, tools, ropes, wire ropes, etc. it is also advisable to differentiate them in “used” and “new”;
- Drugs, ammunition, firearms, anti-piracy sets;
- All consumables kept in the forecastle;
- Bonded stores;
- Medical and hospital items.
Furthermore, in the event of a customs search the Master should keep in mind that:
- Customs must audit the declaration; consequently they cannot be denied access aboard.
- If there are items onboard that have not been declared, the officers should complete the document “Record of Search”,
which should detail the items in violation. These should be well described and quantified.
- Once the inspection is over, Customs will request that the Captain sign the “Record of Search”. The Captain may sign
“without prejudice” and attach to said document the letters of protest or any other note of explanation he deems
- To not hand over inventories, any lists or any type of description of the items that could have been found. Customs should
audit everything and anything additional given to them, during the inspection, will most likely be used against the ship