1043 - 06/15 - Update, Fender & Berth Damage Claims, El-Dekheila - Egypt

Further to our Bulletin 403 the Association has been recently advised that the problems with fender & berth damage claims in Egypt still exist.

Recently one of our Members was involved in a fender damage claim at El-Dekheila. The subject vessel called at El-Dekheila for discharging. She berthed and commenced discharging operations without problems. Close to the end of discharging the vessel’s Master was notified by the agent that the Port Authorities claim that the vessel damaged two of the fenders and a fine had been imposed. The vessel was not allowed to sail before the fine was paid.

The Club has been made aware that this is not an isolated case.

We initiated an inquiry which resulted in the following findings:

• Most of the fender claims originate at El-Dekheila port. This is mainly due to fact that the port is generally unsheltered

• Vessels remain detained, until the claim is settled

• If a vessel is detained, the Port Authorities only accept:
 Certified Bank Cheques; or
 Guarantee of payment sent by the Agent, for the fine to be paid within 48 hours of the date of the incident

• Usually there is an increase in claims in the winter season
It is recommended that the following precautions are taken, in order to avoid similar claims:

• Crew should try to take pictures of fender condition prior to vessels arrival, or instruct a surveyor to investigate the condition of the fender prior to vessels arrival and after departure. This will help the Members to avoid being fined for a pre-existing damage. It will assist us to challenge the port authorities, if a pre-existing damage is evident. We know of a few cases which were successfully challenged and the fine substantially reduced, or even cancelled due to pre-existent damage.

• If there is a claim we recommend Members to contact our local correspondents who will instruct a surveyor to attend jointly with the Port Authorities, while they are assessing the damage in order to protect our Members interests.

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