News 19 Sep, 2013

Argentina - New Customs Regulations to Determine the Weight of Exported Solid Bulk Cargoes - Update

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Further to the Club’s recent news article regarding the introduction of new customs regulations in Argentina to determine the weight of exported solid bulk cargoes, correspondents Pandi Liquidadores, Buenos Aires have updated their advice.

According to information received from ship’s agents and surveyors, the majority of customs offices are now using draft surveys to determine the weight of exported solid bulk cargoes. However, in Necochea and Bahia Blanca the shore scale figure is used if the difference between the customs draft survey and shore scale cargo figure is under 0.6%. If the difference exceeds 0.6%, the draft survey figure is used.

Nevertheless, reports suggest that shippers or their agents in some ports in Argentina are still attempting to present mates receipts stating the cargo weight as determined by shore scale.

In light of the foregoing developments it is recommended that:

  • Shipboard personnel participate in any draft survey carried out by customs
  • The customs draft survey report is signed jointly by the customs officer and a representative of the vessel, retaining a copy of the report on board
  • If customs carry out a draft survey to determine the cargo weight, the draft survey figure is used when completing mates receipts and bills of lading

Should concerns arise regarding the accuracy of the figures ascertained by customs or if any differences between ship and shore figures cannot be resolved, Members should consider the appointment of a P&I surveyor and contact the Club accordingly.

None of the above alters a Members’ obligation to issue a bill of lading which properly reflects the amount of cargo that the Master believes has been loaded on board. Failure to do so may prejudice Club cover.

Finally, although the new regulations are aimed at export cargoes, Members may also wish to invite the local customs authorities to attend draft surveys and witness the unsealing of hatch covers in the case of import cargoes. Although customs may still decide to use the shore scale figure, such measures have recently proved to be helpful in mitigating possible penalties should the actual outturn be less than the manifested weight.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.