713 - 08/10 - Fertilizer shortages - Argentina

The following advice was recently received from the Associations correspondent in Buenos Aires relating to the discharge of fertilisers in Argentina.

"In view of the number of recent cases concerning shortages of fertilizers in bulk when arriving in Argentinean ports that have lead to customs fines, we would like to give the Association and its members a general briefing of the local scenario bearing in mind Customs Law and actual behaviour.

Although this is not a new problem, there has recently been an increase in the number of cases related to discrepancies between shore and manifested figures, especially with fertilizer cargoes. In general, there is a 2% allowance which applies to bulk liquid cargoes and 4% to solid bulk cargoes. In respect of customs fines this means that if the discrepancies are over those amounts, a fine could be imposed between 1 and 5 times the CIF value of the cargo.

In recent times the main problem relates to duties for the short landed cargo. In the past, if the discrepancy was up to 0.6% of the whole cargo then no charges were imposed but the Customs authorities consider that the 0.6% only applies to weights controlled through the draft survey system, if the weights were controlled through shore scales then the tolerance would be nil. For the sake of clarity, please note that the tolerance of 0.6% still applies to liquid bulk cargoes.