Sailing to South Africa with a gun? – get a permit 21 days before you dock
Contents in this issue:
2. RSPB Calls for Help for the Nightingale Penguins
3. South African Gun Laws
4. Libya Sanctions
5. Happy Birthday to Afrimari — and Happy Deliveries for AET Tankers!
6. And Finally…
One More Effect of the Piracy Situation
With gun crime rampant in many South African cities, the authorities
have taken fright about weapons left on board merchant ships while they
are at one of the country’s ports. Now, owners or managers must apply
to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for a permit for ships to
enter ports with weapons on board 21 days before the vessel’s arrival.
Failure to comply can result in the arrest of the master–which has
happened in two recent cases, it is reported.
The American P&I Club has issued an alert to its members spelling out
what they must do to obtain a “gun permit”. The application must be accompanied
by numerous documents.
Moreover, and assuming the permit is granted and the vessel berths in South
Africa, the master must arrange for the guns and any ammunition to be
removed from the vessel and taken to a police locker for safekeeping. The
items will be returned to the vessel one hour before departure.
As is widely known, and as the club’s correspondent, P&I Associates of
Durban, reports, because of the upsurge of piracy in the Indian Ocean
there has been a significant increase in the number of ships carrying
security guards, guns and ammunition. It appears that while the guards
disembark in South Africa after the vessels have sailed through the “hotspot”
area off East Africa, the guns remain on board to be removed at some other
If a master does not comply with the regulations and is arrested and
prosecuted, he will have a criminal record.
A variety of vessel interests have appealed to the SAPS that the 21-day permit
application deadline is unrealistic and unworkable given the realities of spot
market chartering, the club reports. But after some initial indication of
flexibility, the SAPS remains unmoved and the deadline stands.