Change of ship agents not allowed

Namport is concerned about the increased number of incidents of changes in ship agents when vessels are already within the ports.

01 October 2018 | Infrastructure

Lukas Kufuna, port captain; "Any master or agent not complying to this will be fined . . ."

Otis Finck

The Namibian port authority (Namport) will no longer allow a change of agents for vessels visiting the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz under any circumstances.

“Where there should be a change in a ship’s agent, such a ship must sail outside port limits and re-enter with a completely new arrival notification. Any master or agent not complying to this will be fined as per port regulation no. 110 and pilot serve will not be rendered to such a vessel,” Walvis Bay port captain Lukas Kufuna informed captains, masters and ship agents on 20 September.

According to the Namibian Ports Authority act of 1994 a person who commits an offense or fails to comply with any port regulation and is liable on conviction, could be issued with a penalty not exceeding a fine of N$20 000 or face imprisonment for a period of five years.

Namport expressed its concern with the increased number of incidents of changes of ship agents when vessels are already within the ports.

Kufuna told agents via an email that the changing of agents while vessels are already within port limits is in contravention of Part III no. 16 (4) which deals with the requirements to enter a port, of the port regulations.

This regulation stipulates that the owners, masters or agents of vessels which intend to call at a port shall, before entering the port, provide a guarantee to the satisfaction of Namport for all fees, dues and levies which may become due and payable to the port authority by the vessel for that port call.

“Hence changing of agents while the vessel is already within port limits is in contravention of the above and has a negative bearing on safety, efficiency and the effectiveness of port operations.”

Namport therefore resolved that an agent who signs for the arrival notification of the vessel will be accountable for all fees related to the full duration of the relevant ship’s stay in the port except for cargo related dues which remain the responsibility of the nominated cargo agents.

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