On 6 May, Hellenic Shipping News reported that carriers are not willing participants in the trafficking of drugs, but they may be exposed to various losses including fines if drugs are found on-board. It also says that P&I cover for fines arising out of smuggling was changed at the start of the 2021 insurance policy year, and is pointed out that P&I cover ceases in the event that the Ship, with the consent or knowledge of the Member, is being used for the furtherance of illegal purposes. Cover will cease if the Member, although aware of the fact that the crew is using the ship for drug smuggling purposes, fails to take any action to prevent them from doing so. After explaining the main routes and risks associated with drugs smuggling, the article points out that, on 20 February, a new rule came into force in respect of fines and saying that cover for a fine arising out of ’smuggling of goods’ is unavailable as a matter of right (and illegal drugs are considered to be ’goods’ in this context). The P&I cover does, however, allow for applications for discretionary cover and it would be a requirement for the consideration of discretionary cover that the member demonstrates that he took such steps as appear reasonable to avoid the placement of drugs aboard the vessel.
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