71 - 11/98 - Smuggling (Contravention of CITES)


We have recently been advised of a case where the UK Customs and Excise staff have targeted a Member's ship (specifically the crews quarters) and removed medicines including such concoctions as "Tiger Balm", well known to many as in our industry for soothing away the aches and pains of the day.

We understand that the authorities were actually looking for Chinese medicines which may contain tiger, rhinoceros, bear etc body parts.

None were found, but it is worth warning Members employing Asian crews, with their traditional propensity for "free trade," of the consequences of being caught :

a seven year jail sentence.

A fine upon the shipowner would no doubt also have followed should such items have been found.

A copy of the govening convention - CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) - can be obtained from the Club if required. For those with internet access details can be found at



Source of information:

External through Karl Lumbers


Staff Author