BIMCO's position on "smuggling" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.
The unwitting involvement of merchant ships with smuggling of drugs, weapons, wildlife and other goods is a serious problem for the shipping industry. Incidents occur every year where ships are used for smuggling, be it as part of the cargo or in specially designed containers hidden on board or even attached to the outer hull below the waterline. Although there is excellent cooperation and communication between custom/border control authorities, the World Customs Organization and the industry, there have been instances where innocent seafarers and companies have been held responsible for illegal goods placed on board their ships.
Detention of ships and arrest of crews are not uncommon and the potential for large fines and penalties to an involved ship is very real.