Ukraine - Customs Authorities in Nikolaev sea port - Updated
Update 17 August 2016:
In our previous notification below, we were happy to report that in all Ukrainian ports, except for Nikolaev region, the practice of ecological inspectors raiding and attacking the ships to check-up on the segregated ballast was almost over.
This was true till the 11 August 2016. Within just 3 days, we have been informed about 2 cases of impudent fraud in Odessa and Ilyichevsk ports when ecological inspectors tried to make the Masters of the foreign ships give them samples of segregated ballast. In both cases the Masters refused but the inspector attempted to intimidate them by threatening to come back with the police. Of course, these threats were sheer bluffing and blackmail as such actions of the ecological inspectors contradict legislation of Ukraine.
Hereby we would like to warn all interested parties against “dirty” methods of the ecological inspectors, racketing in the Ukrainian ports, who attempt various means and devise tactics to get to the ballast tanks of the ships and keep their usual sources of profit.
We would ask the Masters of the ships NOT to allow the ecological inspectors to take samples of the ballast. Nor to submit any ship’s documentation on the ballast operation to them. In case of any conflict with or threats from the ecological inspectors please inform the P&I Correspondent, as well as the ship’s Agent, immediately.
Dias Marine Consultants Co Ltd, our correspondents in Ukraine, has provided us with the following information:
We have repeatedly reported to our Principals and their Members on outrageous Customs’ “activities” in Nikolaev sea port. In particular we mean their practice of imposing huge fines on foreign-flagged ships for failure to declare the ship’s stores and any goods on board. Unfortunately, this practice is not only still going on but it’s getting more frequent of late two months.
We have to remind all the parties concerned that before entering at this port almost everything on board shall be inserted in the Customs’ declaration: medicines (drugs), cash both that of the ship and the crew members’ personal savings, barrels/tins of paint or oil, as well as any other stores and various commodities on board.
Besides, the Nikolaev Customs’ officers do the sounding of the ship’s bunker tanks, i.e. actually perform a bunker survey of fuel and diesel oil and if they found any discrepancy between their findings and figures declared by the Chief Engineer the fine is inevitable. The sum of the fine is rather big - it is calculated as double cost of undeclared goods. Inaccurately declared bunker leads to particularly high fines.
Our statistics shows that every week on average one ship is getting fined by the Customs and we would like to urge the ships’ Masters to adhere closely to the ship’s agents’ recommendations/instructions and to declare almost everything on board the ships to comply with strict requirements of the Ukrainian Customs. As a rule ship’s agents provide Master/Owners with Customs’ requirements in their pre-arrival notices but we presume that in many cases Members do not take adequate care and attention to such notices.
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