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In most jurisdictions, the vessel, the Master and his/her crew are all subject to fines if a shore official observes the slightest irregularity. Fines may range from insignificant to extraordinarily large amounts. It is not uncommon for fines to be considered part of a country’s national budget in some jurisdictions. Therefore, the Master and his/her crew must closely adhere to all international conventions, national laws and regulations to prevent any fines being imposed.
Fines may be imposed on the vessel, the Master, officers and/or crew for a wide range of violations including
Forms and lists to be presented to national authorities upon entering a port should be completed with the utmost care and attention, these include
Some countries require a separate declaration for any medicines containing narcotics, strong, psychotropic or poisonous substances and also separate safe storage of the same.
The slightest irregularity may lead national authorities to impose a fine or initiate criminal prosecutions. The P&I insurer does not cover any fine that results from any wilful act or omission of the Company, the Master or the crew, such as smuggling, carrying contraband or intentionally misleading entries in the vessel’s logbooks.
Landing of material or equipment from the vessel, or luggage or spares without prior written declaration and permission from the competent customs authorities may, in some countries, lead to a fine being imposed on the Master and/or the vessel. The Master is advised to contact the ship’s agent before discharging any item.
For further details please refer to Gard News 178, Declaration of medicines on board.
For the imposition of fines on the vessel, the Master or the crew and how to respond to the same, please see section 3.7 Fines.