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.
There have been 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.
Owners of ships visiting the port have been advised to instruct their crews to be vigilant and maintain strict gangway watches throughout their vessel’s stay in port.
Experts said the warning became necessary as stowaways who successfully boarded vessels at the port were able to do so by mingling with stevedores and cleaners.
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