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Failure to declare a vessel's quantity of fire extinguishing agents, such as CO2 and foam, may be considered an infringement of the Senegalese Customs Code and may incur fines.

Customs fines continue to be an issue at the port of Dakar, Senegal and Gard has previously highlighted the importance of accurate customs declarations when trading to Senegal. In our Alert of 27 January 2017 we advised that even lube oil considered to be “in use”, e.g. in the engine sump tank, hydraulic system pressure tank for windlass and winches, stern tube, etc. should be declared in the stores list. We have recently learned that the Senegalese Customs are applying a similar approach to vessels’ fire extinguishing systems. According to TCI Africa, several vessels calling at the port of Dakar in Senegal have been fined because of an alleged failure to declare the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and foam contained within the vessel’s fixed fire extinguishing systems.

Masters of vessels calling at ports in Senegal in general, and at the port of Dakar in particular, must therefore continue to be vigilant and pay close attention when completing the customs declaration and stores list as any errors, omissions and/or discrepancies are likely to result in substantial fines. For further information about the Senegalese Customs Code and items to be declared, please see TCI Africa’s letter of 29 November 2017.

As previously recommended by Gard, Masters should also contact the vessel’s local agent well in advance of arrival to ascertain the customs regulations in force in Senegal at that given time and the documentation required. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable that the agent verifies the formal documents before remittance to the customs officer and is present on board when the Master meets with the customs officers.

We are grateful to Gard’s Africa correspondent Eltvedt & O’Sullivan/TCI Africa for providing this information.