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South Africa: Update in relation to the treatment of stowaways

28 June 2022
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The IMO and the South African Department of Transport are jointly hosting the Maritime Security Coordination Centre Stowaways Conference in Cape Town from 27 to 29 June 2022.

Partner, Lana Stockton, is in attendance and presented on the South African legal landscape as it relates to the treatment of stowaways from the perspective of acting for ship owners, operators and P&I insurers.

As previously reported by Bowmans, the South African landscape as it relates to the ability to disembark stowaways is uncertain and fragmented given the ‘no stowaways’ directive issued by the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration) in late 2019 coupled with the customary distinction between trespassers and stowaways and the need for evidence of breaching port security.

Bowmans welcomes the Department of Transport’s announcement that South Africa is in the process of ratifying the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic Convention of 1965 (FAL Convention), providing this progressive convention with force of law in South Africa as early as next year.

The Department of Transport also announced the establishment of the Border Management Authority as one consolidated body to deal with the issue of stowaways, as opposed to ship owners having to approach six or more different authorities (with varying jurisdictions and positions) when seeking to deal with stowaways.