News 20 Dec, 2013

Argentina - Customs Fines in Parana River Ports

In February 2013 the Club advised Members in a news article entitled Argentina – Customs Fines in San Nicolas that the customs authorities in San Nicolas, Argentina were rigorously enforcing the Argentinean Customs Code regarding the accuracy of customs declarations.

Further to this advice, an entered vessel was recently subjected to a search by the customs authorities in the nearby port of San Lorenzo. The customs search team discovered that five cargo grabs and a number of other items had not been declared on the vessel’s stores list. Due to the value of the cargo grabs customs decided to focus on this equipment as the basis for a possible fine.

In a similar incident involving another vessel the customs authorities valued the cargo grabs at USD 50,000 each, raising the possibility of a maximum fine of $250,000. However, this could be doubled to USD 500,000 as the grabs cannot be seized. In this particular case a Club Letter of Guarantee for USD 250,000 was required in order for the vessel to be released.

Members with vessels proceeding to ports on the Parana River in Argentina, in particular San Nicolas and San Lorenzo, are advised to ensure the customs declaration prepared by the Master prior to arrival is complete in all respects and incorporates details of all items on board including cargo grabs, bunkers, greases, lubricating oils, chemicals, medical stores and provisions. If the Master is in any doubt as to whether or not a certain item should be added to the stores list, it should be included. Local agents should also be contacted for advice regarding any particular items or areas which appear to be attracting the attention of the local customs authorities.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.