607 - 10/08 - Customs Fines - Dakar, Senegal

Customs authorities in Dakar appear to be focusing on ship compliance with the Customs Code; paying particular attention to ship’s declarations of stores, paints, bunkers, and lube oil.

The Association last reported to Members on Customs fines in Dakar through Loss Prevention Bulletin 497 in 2006. The Club’s local correspondent advises that the Customs authorities remain strict in their requirement for vessels to comply with the Customs Code and are imposing large fines on vessels where a discrepancy is found between ship declarations and actual quantities found on board.

The following examples are recent incidents reported by the Club’s correspondent:

Example 1 - fine: €25,916.33

The fine was imposed on the vessel because of a difference noted between the quantity of lube oil declared by the master to Customs, and the detailed list per grade later requested from the chief engineer.

Example 2 – fine: €152,449.02

The fine was imposed on the vessel after Customs personnel visited the engine room and ship’s stores to make a complete inventory of all items. Small differences were noted so the boarding officer accused the master of fraud. The value of the fine imposed represents the combined value of the difference of each gas oil, lube oil and paint, multiplied by four (as allowed by the Customs code).

Example 3 – fine: €22,867.35

Normal port arrival formalities require the master to provide various documents to Customs and Port Authority departments i.e. health, immigration, harbour master, etc. The master accidentally submitted to Customs some documents that were intended for another administration.

The Customs authority noted that the list of paint was not included in the documents they received and notified the master the infringement to the Customs code, despite the fact that the master provided them with a copy later. According to the authority, all documents must be presented at the first request and the fine was subsequently imposed.

Advice to Masters

  • Request in advance of arrival, from the ship’s agent, written confirmation of the latest requirements.
  • Prepare the Dakar Customs declaration in good time, when entering the Senegalese territorial waters, as per customs regulations.
  • The master should personally receive the Customs officer on board, in company with the vessel’s agent. The agent must control the set of documents prepared by the master before being presented to the Customs officer.
  • Ensure all consumables, including food, paint, engine room consumables, spare parts in boxes, medicines/drugs, stationery, crew personal effects, etc. have been accurately described and declared.
  • D not lower the gangway until everything is in order and the vessel is ready to receive the Authorities on board. Fulfil the formalities one administration at a time. The following order is recommended: Health; Immigration; Customs; and Harbour Masters agent.


Source of information: 

TCI Africa Dakar

Tel: +221 33  849 1399

Email: tciafrdk@orange.sn  with copy to mail@eltvedtosullivan.com

Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.