67 - 10/98 - Custom Fines - Port Gentil - Gabon

We have been made aware of a new twist in the "Customs Fine Game". Two customs officers in the Port of Gentil, working together, recently enticed a crew member into selling them a television set. One of the officers persuaded the crew member to sell him the televison set on board. As this customs officer was leaving the ship with the set, the second appeared claiming this to be an illegal act for which the ship would be fined.

A fine did follow -  the shipowner  being presented with a demand  for CFA 40,000,000 (aprox UD$66,000).

We are advised that customs officers in this area are " rewarded" by the customs authorities with a 10% remuneration  based on the level of any fine. We are unsure as to the amount paid for the television set  but clearly 10% of US$66,000 would have more than covered his initial outlay!

Whilst this matter is complicated by the fact  that the crewmember did have several television sets in his cabin,  we would strongly advise Members trading to this area to be particularly careful with customs related problems and as far as possible ensure that crews refrain  from such practices.If caught, the results are clearly not inexpensive.

Should members have any other examples of such practices we will gladly circulate them.


Source of Information: 

External  through E Foster (S2)

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.