*Update* Stowaways in South Africa

02/11/2016 | North

*Update* - 2 November 2016

North has received news of recent increases in the number of stowaways in Durban, South Africa.

Local correspondents P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd in Durban have reportedly been inundated with stowaway incidents in recent months. There is concern that these numbers may increase further as the Christmas period approaches and people attempt to travel back to their home countries. The South African authorities are understood to be taking a robust approach to this problem and it is therefore very important that vessels have effective measures in place to prevent unauthorised access on board.

 

P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd have issued a bulletin which provides further details on this issue and can be read here.

South Africa: Stowaways in Durban - 20 November 2015

BIMCO has issued a new security alert warning of the heightened risk of stowaways on ships visiting the port of Durban.

The port is one of the busiest in Africa, which increases the risk of stowaways gaining access to ships.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on the topic of stowaways can be read by clicking here and our analysis of the risks in Maritime Threats and Incidents (MTI) by clicking here.

For further information, Members should contact local port agents and/or P&I correspondents.

Stowaways in South Africa - 17 February 2015

North’s P&I Correspondent (P&I Associates Pty Ltd) have notified us of recent amendments to immigration legislation at the port of Cape Town.

The amendments follow those enforced at the Port of Durban in March 2014 and it is understood that the classification of stowaways and the liability for all costs and consequences of repatriating such individuals now rests with ship owners.

Local correspondents advise that the obligation rests on vessels to ensure that only authorised people are allowed on board and that it is the duty of the gangway watch to check to ensure that each person coming on board possesses an official Transnet port permit.

Members should instruct their crews to be vigilant and maintain strict gangway watches throughout their vessel’s stay in port.  If any person boarding the vessel (stevedores, agents, ship chandlers, cleaners, immigration, ship repairers and contractors) does not have a Transnet Port Permit then the person should be refused access to the vessel and port security should be immediately notified. A full and thorough stowaway search should be carried out prior to the vessel's departure from port.

For further information, Members should contact local port agents and/or P&I correspondents.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on the topic of stowaways can be read here.

Stowaways in Durban, South Africa - 10 March 2014

North’s P&I Correspondent (P&I Associates Pty Ltd) have advised of recent problems with people illegally boarding vessels whilst in the port of Durban.

In the cases highlighted by the correspondents, the vessels have been in port either carrying out cargo operations or carrying out stowaway searches prior to their departure when illegal people were discovered on board.  Immigration officials were immediately called to the vessels and in each case, the persons were declared to be stowaways by immigration, rather than be classified as trespassers (as they had previously done).

On interviewing the stowaways it became clear that the stowaways boarded the vessel with stevedores and cleaners and intended to stowaway on board the vessel.  Immigration officials advise that the obligation rests on vessels to ensure that only authorised people are allowed on board and that it is the duty of the gangway watch to check ensure that each person coming on board possesses an official Transnet port permit.

If any person boarding the vessel, (including stevedores, agents, ship chandlers, cleaners, immigration, ship repairers and contractors), does not have a Transnet permit, then the individual should be asked to leave the vessel and if need, should be taken to the bottom of the gangway and port security immediately notified. The port, as the landlord, will have the individual detained and charged as a trespasser on port property.

If the individual is declared a stowaway by immigration officials then the vessel may be held liable for all repatriation costs and consequences, such as delays.