The Club’s South African correspondents, P&I Associates South Africa, have provided an update on stowaways in South African ports. On Monday 19 August, the Senior Immigration Officer in Durban advised that as of immediate effect, no stowaways would be permitted to be landed in South Africa.
It is common knowledge that South African ports have stowaway problems. The ruling by South African Immigration was that if any unlawful person gained access to a vessel he was immediately declared to be a stowaway unless the vessel had hard evidence to show that the person boarded the vessel in a South African port.
Hard evidence, according to Immigration officials, is video footage from security cameras or evidence from port security guards and any document issued by the Department of Home Affairs. If such evidence was available, the person was removed from the vessel as a trespasser. If the person was treated as a stowaway, travel documents were urgently arranged to enable the person off the vessel either in port, or off port limits, for repatriation.
However, on Monday 19 August, the Senior Immigration Officer in Durban advised that as of immediate effect, no stowaways would be permitted to be landed in South Africa. Any person declared as a stowaway in a South African port will have to sail with the vessel and removed on route or at the next port of call.
In order to be protected whilst in South African ports, the Club’s correspondents urge Members to follow previous advice on stowaways in South African ports and not allow any person to board their vessel if that person is not in possession of a TNPA (Transnet National Port’s Authority) port permit. Private security should be arranged to check permits at the bottom of the gangway to prevent stowaways running past the security desk, and two guards should be stationed on the quayside on the fore and aft mooring ropes.
Source of Information
Loss Prevention / P&I Associates South Africa