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Gard issues alert on custom fines for alleged inaccuracies in customs declarations at Argentine ports

Gard says guidance by marine surveyor firm Simonsen advises Masters and officers to be particularly attentive when declaring goods such as bunkers and other ‘oils’ such as lube oil and hydraulic oil.

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Maritime protection and indemnity (P&I) club Gard on Tuesday (4 July) published an alert on ship operators getting fined for alleged inaccuracies when filing customs declarations at Argentine ports and provides guidance on how to avoid such fines when calling at the ports:

Ship operators continue to be fined for alleged inaccuracies when filing customs declarations at Argentine ports. The accuracy of the figures declared is crucial as reported overage, or duplication of items, could be just as expensive as a “shortage”.

For more than a decade there has been a persistent issue of ships incurring fines at Argentina’s ports. 

The Argentine Customs Authorities are known for paying close attention to the details in each ship’s custom declarations and stores lists - and for imposing strict penalties for any discrepancies identified, as permitted under its Customs Code. And now, in July 2023, our correspondent Sigvart G.J. Simonsen & Cia. S.R.L reports that claims related to custom fines are once again on the rise in Argentina.

In an effort to enhance uniformity in the application of customs regulations in the country, Argentine Customs Authorities issued General Resolution 4317 on 10 October 2018. The Resolution approved a set of forms to be used by vessels declaring any stores on board upon arrival at an Argentine port. We list below individual links to the forms:

Although these forms provide some uniformity, there are items in the lists which may still be unclear. One example is in form OM 1647 (Engine Store List), where the form refers to “other oils”. However, it does not clarify if quantities of lube oil in the sump tank should be declared or not or if the volume of lube oil should be measured with the engines running or not.

It is therefore important that ship operators continue to remind their Masters of ships calling Argentinean ports to be particularly vigilant and attentive when filling in the customs declaration and ship’s stores list, also when using the forms from 2018. We also recommend contacting the ship’s local agent well before arrival to ascertain the customs and immigration regulations in force in Argentina at that given time and the documentation required.

Guidance for Masters

The Guidance for Masters - Key Points when Declaring Store Lists Before the Argentinian Customs House by Simonsen provides a summary of its recommendations on how to avoid fines when calling at Argentine ports. The guidance provides helpful advice based on the correspondent’s extensive case experience and we recommend that ship operators forward a copy of this to all ships likely to call at Argentine ports. Furthermore, while the guidance stresses the importance of declaring accurate figures for all consumables onboard, including avoiding duplication of items, it advises Masters and officers to be particularly attentive when declaring goods such as:

  • paints, thinners, and other chemicals
  • bunkers and other “oils” such as lube oil and hydraulic oil
  • electronic appliances, including crews’ personal effects
  • cigarettes and alcohol
  • spare parts, including engine and deck inventories

In case of any doubt, e.g. if requested to sign an unfamiliar document or language and cultural differences make communication difficult, ask for the agent’s and/or the P&I correspondent's assistance.

 

Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP from Unsplash
Published: 1 August, 2023 

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Newbuilding

Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

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Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.

 

Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.

 

Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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