The North P&I Club informs that the Ivory Coast have issued a notice on their intention to collect fees from vessels that are engaged on international voyages and are loading or discharging at Ivorian ports.
Namely, the country’s Secretary of State of the Minister of Transports has issued a note to shipowners whose vessels call at Ivory Coast, referencing the l’Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) regulations in relation to the Rights of Maritime Traffic, which took effect on 1 January 2020.
Specifically, importing fees amount to 1000 FCFA (approx. US$1.70) per ton of goods and exporting fees amount to 800 FCFA (approx. US$1.36) per ton of goods. A reduction in fees to 500 FCFA (US$0.85) is applied for the import of cargoes of wheat and rice.
It not yet known how fees will be collected and if payment will have to be made before vessel’s arrival and or departure. Authorities now warn shipowners that they should not seek refund of these fees from cargo interests.
Fees will not apply to any bill of lading issued before the date of entry in force of these provisions. What is more, the UEMOA regulation further states that goods in transshipment or in transit do not give rise to fees levied by its member coastal states.
In January 2019, a product tanker was attacked while in Abidjan Anchorage, Ivory Coast. The armed robbery that took place, resulted to the robbers escaping the vessel with stolen ship’s stores. According to IBM between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo the robbery incidents more than doubled in 2018.