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475 - 06/06 - Customs Fines in Lebanon - Lebanon
Intertanko recently warned its members of difficulties experienced in Lebanese ports over the quantity of cargo discharged. It was reported that fines are issued for short and excessive delivery of cargo and the Authorities consider only the views of the cargo surveyor appointed by them.
The Club contacted its local correspondent for further information and they advised that the imposition of fines by the Lebanese Customs Authorities in respect of shortlanding and overlanding of oil shipments is a practice that has been in place for many years.
The Lebanese Customs Authorities will only take into consideration the shore tank measurements (m/t in air) for the determination of shortlanded or overlanded cargo, after deducting an allowance of:
- 0.7% for shortlanded gasoline
- 0.5% for shortlanded Jet A1
- 0.4% for shortlanded gas oil
- 0.3% for shortlanded fuel oil
- 2% for any overlanding
The Customs Authorities will not allow any tanker to discharge her cargo unless an undertaking is submitted to them by the ship’s agents prior to the ship’s arrival/discharge, confirming that in case of shortlanded/overlanded cargo in excess of the customs’ allowance, the relevant customs fine will be settled by them on behalf of the ship. The following is an example of a fine being levied which was reported to Intertanko:
The difference between the ship’s figure and the Bill of Lading figure on arrival was only 0.11%, equating to 36.5mt (ship’s ullage witnessed and signed by surveyors appointed by the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water). Upon completion of discharge and issue of the dry certificate, the shore arrived at an official shortage of 299mt and, after deduction of 0.7% customs allowance, arrived at an alleged shortage of 83mt. A fine of about US$ 45,000 was subsequently imposed. To avoid delays in the ship’s departure the P&I club issued security and the ship sailed.
The P&I club advised that in assessing a customs liability or fine, the Lebanese Customs Authorities only take into consideration the findings of surveyors appointed by the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and disregard of the ship’s documentation or evidence.
Intertanko has made a direct approach to the Lebanese Authorities addressing such issues as the exclusive use by the Customs Authorities of shore tank gauging of landed cargo quantity and pointing out that the owner’s responsibility should cease when the cargo passes the ships manifold.
Source of information:
Maurice G. Mouracadé & Co.
Beirut – Lebanon
+961 1 201 821