We have been advised recently that the Novorossiysk Customs have been initiating cases against shipowners for administrative violations for false declaration of medicines that contain narcotic, psychotropic or poisonous components, contained in the ship’s first aid kit. Criminal cases have also been brought against ships’ masters on the basis that they have signed the general customs declarations.
Ships’ first aid kit medications that contain narcotic and strong substances are usually kept in the master’s safe. Other common medications that may be found onboard may also contain such properties. In the General Declaration, approved by the Russian Governmental Custom Committee, there is the following question regarding medications, “YES/NO - medications with narcotic influence, drastic medicines, psychotropic, poisonous.” Some masters do not consider this question carefully and answer NO, assuming that the question does not relate to the first aid kit.
If a criminal case is brought against the master, he will be disembarked from the ship and must remain in Novorossiysk for at least one month while the case investigated. The ship may also be detained in port for several days.
We advise all Members to make their masters aware of this advice and require that they are very attentive while filling out the general customs declaration, keeping in mind that the first aid kit usually contains narcotic or/and psychotropic/strong substances. Masters should ask the agent for assistance, if required, when registering the General Declaration. The agent should put their signature to the master’s copy of the Declaration with the agency company and agent’s name. Masters should immediately contact the local correspondents should a problem arise.
Source of information:
Novorossiysk Marine Company Limited
4-12 Gubernskogo Street
tel +7 8617 613356