The Club has previously reported on areas where Ukrainian Customs Authorities appear to be applying strict legislation and requiring strict compliance. Members with ships visiting Ukrainian ports unaware and unprepared for the strict requirements are finding themselves heavily fined.
Loss Prevention Bulletin 516, issued in March 2007, describes how most ships entering Ukrainian ports are fined for discharging ballast which, when tested, is found to be exceeding extremely low maximum particle limits.
Customs officers at Ukrainian Black Sea Ports are now, as a matter of standard practice, carrying out soundings of ships bunker tanks and completing a bunker survey during the inward clearance. There is almost always a discrepancy between the calculated quantity of fuel oil or diesel oil on board and that recorded/declared. If the difference found suggests that not all fuel has been declared then the Customs Authorities will impose a fine on the ship of at least US$2,500 for the “smuggling of fuel”. The highest fine encountered by the Club’s local correspondent in this matter currently stands at US$10,000.
Through investigations, the Club’s local correspondent has found that the discrepancy is usually due to the ship’s Chief Engineer making declarations based on approximate calculations and not performing soundings of bunker tanks before arrival.
It is therefore recommended that bunker tanks are sounded in order to provide accurate bunker quantity on board figures, in order to avoid fines.
Source of information: DIAS Co. Ltd.
Tel: +38 0482 346124
The above notification may be found in the “Customs continue to attack the vessels (update)” article at the Dias Co. Ltd. website: www.dias-co.com/problems/