Stowaways cost shipping US$15 million annually as nine African ports meet

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said that cost of stowaways to the shipping community globally is over US$15 million per year.

This was disclosed at a regional seminar on how to cut the numbers of stowaways in African ports at Yaounde, Cameroun past week.

Representatives from nine ports of Abidjan, Cape Town, Dakar, Djibouti, Durban, Lagos, Mombasa, Tema, and Takoradi gathered to share the actions they have taken since 2014 – when similar IMO events took place in Abidjan and Durban.

According to the seminar conductors, IMO’s Julian Abril, Gisela Viera and Honorat Hoba, ‘stowaway incidents continue to have a significant impact on safe ship operation and on the life and health of stowaways. Incidents cause considerable difficulties for shipmasters, shipping companies, shipowners and ship operators in disembarking stowaways from ships into the care of appropriate authorities. The estimated cost of stowaways to the shipping community is over US$15 million per year.

‘Proper application of security measures and access controls on board ships and within port facilities can reduce the number of stowaway incidents.

The Yaoundé seminar was organized with the National Port Authority of Cameroon and the Ministry of Transport of Cameroon, and attended by a variety of interested international organizations and IMO Member States. It was opened by Cameroon’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Jean Ernest N. Bibehe, and also attended by with the Secretary of State in charge of Defence and Director-General of the National Port Authority, Mr. Josué Youmba.

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