The fining of vessels at Nikolaev port for inaccuracies in customs declarations is not a new development (Ukraine - Fines for Customs Declaration Discrepancies). Club correspondents Dias Marine Consulting PC, Odessa have advised that there has been a recent increase in the number of vessels in Nikolaev being fined for failure to accurately declare the ship’s stores, articles, personal effects and for having more fuel oil on board than stated in the vessel’s customs declaration.
Customs officers continue to conduct bunker quantity surveys of residual and distillate fuels as part of inward clearance formalities to check whether or not the actual amounts of fuel oil match those stated on the customs declaration.
In the event of discrepancies between declared and actual quantities of goods, financial penalties are being imposed by Customs, calculated as double the value of the undeclared goods, which can amount to substantial sums when there are discrepancies in relation to quantities of fuel oil, which have in the past amounted to several hundred thousand dollars.
Such vessels are not permitted to sail until funds to cover the fine have been transferred to the court’s deposit account.
Masters are reminded to ensure that customs declarations are complete and accurately reflect the quantity of medicines, money (both vessel’s and crew member's), paint, stores, fuel oil, lubricating oil, sludge etc. remaining on board on arrival. Prior to arrival the local agent should be contacted to determine any areas that are being targeted by Customs in the search for discrepancies,
Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.