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Armed Guards supplied at Cotonou Port

Thursday 23rd January 2020

From 21st January 2020, Cotonou Port Authority will supply armed guards free of charge for vessels calling at Cotonou port meeting the following conditions:

All vessels calling at Cotonou port must appoint a licensed shipping agent.
The shipping agent must introduce the expected vessel 48 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival at Cotonou roads.   Any vessel arriving without being announced by its agent 48 hours in advance, should not anchor at Cotonou roads and must leave.
Two hours prior to arrival at Cotonou roads, the Master must introduce the vessel to Cotonou Port Control via VHF CH 14 or 16 for the exchange of arrival information.

If the dedicated berth is occupied, Cotonou port reserves the right to shift the vessel from anchorage to another free berth and back again when the original berth becomes free. All costs for this are for the vessel’s account to be paid by the shipping agent, owners or principals in line with Cotonou Port Authority regulations.

If all berths inside the port are occupied, the Cotonou signal station (Benin navy) will provide an anchoring position to the vessels unable to berth (which should remain on roads) and will deploy armed guards to secure those vessels.  If the Master refuses the armed guards, the vessel should inform Cotonou port control and leave Benin territorial waters.

Only vessels which have commercial operations at Cotonou port will be allowed to embark armed guards and drop anchor.
Armed guards are declared free of charge for vessels arriving at Cotonou which remain at anchorage awaiting berth availability and who have cargo operations inside the port.  The guards are compulsory and any vessel not accepting them will need to leave Cotonou roads.

Once a vessel has completed cargo operations, they should sail immediately to the next port.

For further information please contact OMA Benin