719 - 10/10 - Drug law amendments - Venezuela

The Association would like to inform Members of the key points raised in recent amendments to Venezuelan drug laws.

Changes to Venezuelan drug law mean that penalties for those found guilty of transporting drugs have increased from 8 – 10 years to 15 – 25 years and possibly 25 – 30 years for ring leaders or financial backers. Vessels found to be transporting drugs may be seized at the request of the public prosecutor and a vessel may be held for around 3 months in cases where the judge deems there is no evidence. In cases where the prosecutor decides to proceed with a full criminal trial the vessel could be held for a year, or more.

During the period of arrest, the vessels management, maintenance and other functions will be transferred to the National Drug Office, who may employ the vessel in activities set out within the law. If the court decides to release a vessel, she would be returned to her owners. However, if the final judgment demands seizure, the property would pass to the State.

The law does not declare whether the vessel may be released during the criminal trial if a guarantee is posted before a court. Under normal circumstances, local courts would not allow the vessel to be released until a final judgement has been passed.

Judges, prosecutors or experts deemed to be in violation of the law during these proceedings may be punished with between 6 and 8 years in prison.

The Association would advise Members to be extremely cautious when in Venezuelan ports.

Source of information:
Loss Prevention Dept

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.