BAN OF LOADING PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS INTO CARS GOING TO NAMIBIA
Namibia Port Authority has issued a memo notifying all Shippers and Agents that with effect from 01 February 2013
all vehicles destined to any Namibian Port on Roll on Roll Off (ro/ro) will not be accepted into the country if they are carrying any goods inside.
It has been the practice that when people send cars from overseas to Walvis Bay; in order to maximise on space; people would load some extra goods inside the cars. This has been going on for sometime, and it has been smooth for sometime.
For loading goods in the car; there has been a surcharge that some Agents were charging.However, in a memo dated 03-01-13, Mr Raymond Visagie of the Executive: Risk Management section of Namibia Port Authority (NAMPORT) stated that.....'Shippers and Agents of ro/ro are advised that Namibia Ports will not accept vehicles stuffed with goods of whatever nature effective from 01-February 2013'
WHY HAS THIS BAN BEEN INTRODUCED?
This ban has been introduced to curb a lot of problems associated with goods being in the cars. As most people who have sent goods insides may witness; sometimes goods disappear or they are stolen. As there is no one really accountable for goods in transit inside the cars; this creates a opportunity for some scrupulous people to help themselves. This creates an administrative headache at the Port.
As a Freight Forwarder; we; at Savannah Freight Services, understand the need to send extra goods in the car. However, due to the nature of the shipping process between Port of Loading,e.g Sheerness or Immingham in UK and Walvis Bay; it is almost impossible to assure our customers that once goods are left in the car while in transit, they will be secure. While in transit in the vessel, it is most unlikely that the goods will be tempered with; although there is no guarantee that it is so. On arrival at the Port of Discharge- e.g. Walvis Bay; the vehicles are off loaded and handed over to the Local Authority; who will then facilitate the process of clearance in coordination with Agents and other stakeholders and departments. At this stage; no one can assume responsibility for goods stowed in the vehicles. There is a chance that goods may miss, but I want to make this clear, I am not accusing anyone at the port of discharge. Once clearance is completed and the vehicles are handed to their owners, it is at this stage that most people become aware that their goods are missing.
It is very difficult to actually pinpoint at which stage goods go missing. After goods miss, it becomes the duty of the Agent to explain to the customers. But from experience, no explanation can ever be given that can fully identify the stage of loss. With this in mind we always feel that it is better for our customers not to put any goods inside the cars.
Most insurance companies do not cover the loss of such goods while in transit.
WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR NOW?
Stakeholders are in discussion with the Namibian Port Authority to find an amicable way forward that will benefit everyone. However, in the meantime:-
Mr Raymond Visagie; explained that ....' all household goods; personal effects and used goods shall be packed separately, sealed and clearly marked on an inventory list and shall not be shipped as consolidated shipments with import vehicles.
Therefore, until a solution is found to this issue or until Namport reverses its decision; we strongly advise all our valued customers not to load any goods in their cars.
Namport has warned that any violation will result in goods being confiscated and heavy penalties imposed. So be warned.
Should you have any questions please fell free to contact us at Savannah Freight Services. We are here to make sure your transactions are as smooth as possible.