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Customs procedures


  1. Goods arriving by sea must be entered on the manifest or general statement of the ship's cargo. 
  2. This document must be signed by the Commander. It must mention the species, the number of packages, their marks and numbers, the nature, the weight of the goods and the places of loading. 
  3. It is forbidden to present as a unit, in the manifest, several closed packages joined together in any way whatsoever. 
  4. Prohibited goods must be entered on the manifest under their true name, by nature and kind. 

Art.114. The master of a vessel that has arrived in the maritime zone of the customs radius must, at the first requisition 

  1. (a) submit the original of the manifest for endorsement ne varietur by the customs officers who come on board 
  2. (b) hand over a copy of the manifest to them. 

Art.115. Except in duly justified cases of force majeure, vessels may only dock in ports where there is a customs office. 


Art.116. Upon entering the port, the captain is required to present the logbook for approval by the customs officers. 


Art.117.The shipping company, the consignee or the master of the vessel must deposit at the customs office 

a) as a summary declaration: 
the cargo manifest with, if necessary, its authentic translation; 
special manifests for ship's stores and junk goods belonging to members of the crew; 
certificates of departure or clearance; 
(b) the charter parties or bills of lading, act of nationality and any other documents which may be required by the customs administration for the application of customs measures. 


1 bis) The cargo manifest referred to in paragraph 1-a) shall be transferred electronically. 
However, in specific situations, the authorities concerned may accept that the cargo manifest be filed on paper. 


(1b) Where the cargo manifest is transferred electronically, it shall be transferred not later than 48 hours before the arrival of the vessel in the port. 

Where the cargo manifest is filed on paper, it shall be filed within twenty-four hours of the arrival of the vessel in port. The twenty-four hour time limit shall not apply on Sundays and public holidays. 


2) The summary declaration must be filed even when the vessels are in ballast.



  1. The loading or unloading of vessels may only take place within the confines of ports where customs offices are established. 
  2. No goods may be unloaded or transshipped without the written authorization of the customs officers and in their presence. Unloading and transshipment must take place during the hours and under the conditions set by the National Director of Customs. 
  3. At the request of the interested parties and at their expense, exceptional authorizations for unloading and transshipment outside the places, times and days determined as above may be granted. 

Art.119.- The commanders of the ships of the military navies are obliged to fulfil all the formalities to which the commanders of merchant ships are subject on entry




Art.129.- If there are provisions on board ships which have been freed from duties and taxes as being to be consumed at sea, they must, until the departure of the ship, be represented at any requisition of the customs service. 


Art.130.- When a vessel stops its landing or embarkation operations, the customs agents can close the hatches and affix seals or stamps which can only be removed by themselves. 


Art.131.- The pirogues and other boats of less than ten gross tons are obliged to present their load to the customs office closest to the place of origin or their destination, either to pay the duties and receive the receipt, or to provide themselves with the titles or statutory expedients.



  1. Dugouts and other boats of less than ten gross tons may not leave ports without a customs permit, regardless of the point on the coast to which they are to be sent. 
  2. The above provisions do not apply to boats and canoes engaged in fishing, whose operations are not subject to any customs formalities. 


  1. It is forbidden for ships and boats of any kind to enter internal waters other than through estuaries, passes or rivers leading to the first customs office. They shall only use the same passes or waterways on their way out and shall, if required, present proof of payment of duties or any other documents. 
  2. In the event that several equally direct waterways lead to the same office, the authorized route is determined by decision of the National Director of Customs. 
  3. The preceding provisions are not applicable to navigation in the rivers bordering the States which, by convention, have recognized the freedom of navigation and the neutrality of waters.


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