News 09 Jul, 2015

Ivory Coast - Customs Penalties in Abidjan

Ivory P&I, Abidjan has advised that on 1 July 2015 the customs authorities in Abidjan issued a notice warning that in addition to any fines arising from differences between the cargo manifest and the final outturn figures as determined by shore tally, a customs tax payment for mis-declared cargo must be made in accordance with Article 285 of the Ivorian Customs Code. The application of the customs tax has not been strictly enforced in the past and is determined, in part, by the market value of the mis-declared cargo. Although the precise method used by the customs authorities is unclear, it would appear that the enforcement of Article 285 may result in higher penalties for cargo shortages or overlandings in Abidjan.

In the event of fines imposed for outturn discrepancies it has been customary for the vessel’s local agent to request security for the amount specified. It is possible that local agents may now request additional security to cover the payment of any customs tax demands.

In Abidjan, vessels are generally prevented from sailing until the fine has been paid or sufficient security has been lodged with the local agent.

Members requiring further guidance should contact the Loss Prevention department.