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Harbour Master s Office

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Capitainerie du Port d'Abidjan
Capitainerie du Port d'Abidjan


Prior to arrival

Any vessel wishing to enter the pilotage area of the Abidjan Port shall send, within 24 hours preceding its arrival in Port at Vridi and at least 6 hours in advance, a telex, fax or an e-mail to the Harbour Master of the Port of Abidjan or, faxing that to the consignee who shall transmit copies to the Harbour Master of the Port of Abidjan in the same timeframe stating on the one hand its rear and front draughts and on the other hand, the tonnage of goods to be shipped, the nature, class, tonnage and destination of the hazardous goods carried.


  • Fax Department of Maritime Operations : + 225 21 21 24 08 50
  • Phone (Lookout): +225 21 21 27 58 50
  • Fax Lookout : + 225 21 21 27 06 77


On arrival

On arrival at the boundaries of the pilotage area, the ship identifies itself to the Vridi signals station through telephone calls on VHF channel 12 or 16. No vessel may enter the Port or move therein if it has not been authorized by the Harbour Master of the Port

Captains may also contact the harbour master's office of the Abidjan Port on the eve of the arrival in Port at Vridi at least 6 hours before confirming its ETA.

Ongoing VHF monitoring on channels: :

  • 16 : Security
  • 12: Port operations
  • 13 : Port security


Conditions of entry and exit from the Port

Overall length and draught allowed :

  • Entry: 38 feet (11, 50 m); length = 250m
  • Exit: 38 feet (11, 50 m); length = 250m

Canal de VRIDI

  • Available height under electric cable : 64m



The Port is accessed by the Vridi canal which is subject to tidal currents that can reach the speed of 5 to 6 knots in times of high tide.

Hence, to find manageable hours, blocks of time indicating the opening and the closing of the canal are calculated every day so as to provide good traffic programming.


Position of the Port of Abidjan centered on 5° 19' N ---- 4° 01' W/p>

Guaranteed pilotage 24 hour is compulsory for vessels over 150 gross net tonnage.

Vessels at anchor (outdoor or indoor) must monitor the 12/16 VHF channels.

Chief Pilot                                                                :+225 21 21 23 86 55/56 VHF canal 16-12-11


Towage is required and assured by l’Ivoirienne de Remorquage et de Sauvetage (IRES). Vessels must submit to the harbor master's office the ETA 72 h and 24 h in advance through sales agents.

Ivoirienne de Remorquage et de Sauvetage (IRES) : +225 21 21 24 01 89 VHF canal 16-06


Oil berth

At sea
Mini length 170 m 200 m
Maxi length 250m 350m
Draught 46’ (14 m) 69’ (21m)
Shifting 80 000 t 250 000t
Maxi length 200m 180m* 145m 240m
length (PANAMAX) 32,20 m - - 32,20m
Draught 33’ (10,06m) 31’ (9,45m) 32,8’ (10m) 11,50m 5m
Shifting 40 000 t 35 000 t 15 000t 90 000t
QuaysMaxi draughtComments
Fruit Quays (QB1 – QB2)28’ (8,50 m)
North Quays (Q1 – Q5)31’ (9,45 m)Q1 et Q3 for the unloading of grains
West Quays (Q6 – Q14)31’ (9,45 m)Q6 – Q9 dedicated to RORO Q11 for the unloading of wine
Fishing Harbour basin23’ (7,01 m)
South Quay (Q16 - Q20) 36’ (11,00m)Q16 for the unloading of vegetable oil
Container Quay (Q21 - Q22) 36’ (11,00m)Q19 and Q20 dedicated to RORO
Container Quay (Q23 - Q25) 38’ (11,50m)
SIVENG Quay (Long maxi : 156 m27’ (8,20 m)For fertilizer
SOCOPAO Quay (long. maxi =140m21’ (6,50 m)Off shore
Philips Quay (long. maxi = 140m)20’ (6,30m)Off shore

1 Timber terminal

  • 1 380m long ligthterage quay ; draught ; TE : 2m.
  • 1 65 000 m² yard for the storage of timber logs
  • 1 45 000 m2 graveled at the East of Bietry Bridge and dedicated to sawn timber of 600 m²
  • logs are containerised on the export


Two shipyards have been set up in the port of Abidjan in order to carry out the following works :

  •  Repair of any type of vessels
  • IAny other works on wooden, metallic, or plastic hulls, all kinds of machines with any power, electricity, fitting, pipe works, refrigerated facilities etc.
  • Construction of new steel, wooden and plastic structures up to 45 m in length with a hull weight not exceeding 150 tons.
  • Industrial works, boiler works and industrial hollowware
  • Manufacture of tanks and reservoirs
  • All gravelling, zinc plating and plastic works
  • Maintenance of local industrial plants and major repairs made possible through the machine tools
  • Assembling of ferries and metal bridges for rivers of côte d’ivoire and for the Ivorian railway company (SITARAIL)



3.1 Pre-notification to the Port Authority

Under the regulation of the Abidjan port police, any shipmaster on board of a vessel carrying hazardous goods shall declare 48 hours prior to its arrival, these goods by providing the following information:

  • Name of the vessel
  • Estimated date and time of arrival (ETA)
  • The exact technical name of the substance
  • ONU Number
  • IMDG Code class
  • Amount of substance
  • Lit point (if necessary)
  • A space used aboard a ship for stowage, with an indication of dangerous substances to be unloaded in transit while announcing if necessary, the risks arising out of the handling of these goods.


3.2 Security of handling and storage

Any handling of dangerous goods may take place on the docks designated for this purpose by the Harbour Master of Port of Abidjan, who shall give a written authorization and set the hours that such handling, may take place.

The unloading of hazardous goods takes place at the beginning of unloading process. Loading takes place at the end of the loading process.

The handling of hazardous goods must be pursued relentlessly with utmost celerity.

Officers from the Harbour Master's Office based in different areas of the Port platform and who are responsible for mooring berths shall ensure that dangerous goods entering their area are duly declared by the sender. They must also ensure that they are properly packaged, marked and labelled in accordance with the provisions of the IMDG Code and the applicable national rules.

They also make sure that the directives on the segregation, the storage of the dangerous goods are respected.

3.3 Safety measures to be observed upon the arrival of cargo at the Port

L’Autorité Portuaire doit être informée, par un document notificatif appelé « déclaration des marchandises dangereuses  », 24 heures au moins à l’avance, de l’arrivée de la marchandise dangereuse dans la zone portuaire.

The ships must declare the Classes 1 and/or 7 dangerous substances they transport and they must moreover, obtain the special Port entry permit from the Harbour Authority.

Non- absorbed nitroglycerin, fulminates other that fulminates of mercury and ammonium nitrate containing foreign combustible substances in a proportion above 4/1000 are prohibited in maritime transport. As a result, ships carrying these dangerous goods are not allowed to enter the Port of Abidjan.

Ships carrying dangerous substances must identify themselves by displaying at day time the "B"flag of the International Code of signals; and at night, a red light that is visible throughout the horizon.

3.4 Safety precautions to be observed when dangerous goods are at the Port.

  • Safety of dangerous goods before unloading

The security of dangerous goods on board a vessel is linked to security measures applied to the ship object throughout the time spent in the Port.

The ship maintains ongoing communications with the Port Authority on Channel 12 (standby channel). At the dock, a safe distance of at least 30 meters between this ship and other ships at berth is maintained .

Smoking is forbidden on board vessels carrying dangerous substances, except in specific locations.

Whenever the ship is transporting dangerous liquid substances in bulk, the Port Authority checks whether the vessel holds a valid technical certification.

Access to the pumping station by foreign individuals who are not needed for service is subject to a written permission from the Managing Director of the receiving company.

Anyone with this authorization shall be searched by elements of the security forces committed to the monitoring of the vessel before accessing the pumping area or the ship. This person should not be carrying any lighter or any box of matches.

Any vessel carrying dangerous goods shall keep on board a sufficient fraction of the crew to ensure security and proper response in the event of a disaster.

The ship is subject to standby measures for the pump truck or the tug.

For ships carrying flammable liquids in bulk and gas, no machine may approach within 50 meters except boats from the PAA Management, law enforcement agencies, Customs, the ship of the consignee or the receiving company.

  • Safety of dangerous goods at the time of unloading

In general, dangerous goods are handled during the day.

The Port Services, before handling dangerous goods, may require justification of the prior permission given for the operation by the Port Authority, if such permission is regulatory.

When dangerous goods are unloaded, the Port Authority shall ensure that they are duly declared by the shipper or the carrier as being properly classified, packaged, marked and labelled in compliance with the IMDG Code.

It is forbidden to sweep any boiler and chimney when dangerous goods are handled.

Any package of dangerous goods which is damaged, having defects that may constitute a danger for transport and people or any leaking package must be re- packaged by the stevedore or the freight forwarder with regulatory salvage packaging. The agreement of the relevant authority being authentic.

  • Safety of dangerous goods after unloadingt

Dangerous goods should be removed by using a hoist, when loading and unloading. They must not remain on the medians, or in stores.

Thus, on the import, dangerous goods that are indicated in a request for removal under a hoist are loaded directly onto trailers and escorted by officers of the PAA dangerous goods unit to exit from the Port.

This dossier includes the following documents:

  • A request for removal under hoist to the Port Authority;
  • A customs file according to the tariff system;
  • The handler's voucher;
  • The photocopy of the Bill of Lading (original BL).

In case of force majeure, the dangerous goods that could not be removed under hoist go directly to the Security Park for dangerous goods, following a request for transfer with the following documents :

  • A copy of the cargo manifest;
  • A copy of the B/L;
  • A request for transfer to the Security Park.


Guarding the Security Park is provided by personnel recruited by handlers (security guards) to their exclusive risks and costs. When the Port Authority deems it useful, it also demands surveillance by the State police force or the Police.

The removal of goods at the Security Park is subject to the presentation of a Removal dossier which includes the following administrative documents:

  • An application for the opening of the Security Park
  • One delivery order
  • A copy of the original Bill of Lading.


Waste Management

  1. Regulations

1.1 National regulations

The management of waste at the Port of Abidjan is governed by the following texts :

  • The Environment Code
  • PAA police and operating regulations


1.2 International regulations

Waste management at the Port of Abidjan is governed by requirements contained in :

  • The MARPOL 73/78 convention
  • The SOLAS 74 convention


  1. Removal of liquid waste at the PAA

The following liquid waste may be unloaded at the Port of Abidjan as per established proceduress :

  • Oil sludges
  • Wastewater
  • Used oils
  • Washing water from cargo tanks
  • Declaration of liquid waste to be unloaded
  1. A copy of this declaration duly completed and signed, must be filed at the following points :

The master of any ship or his agent shall make a liquid waste statement addressed to the harbour master's office 48 h before the arrival of the ship using the slip for the declaration of liquid wastes.

A copy of this declaration duly completed and signed, must be filed at the following points :

  • CIAPOL (Anti-pollution Ivoirian Centre)
  • Office of Maritime Affairs
  • Customs


  1. Unloading of residues

At the berthing of the ship, liquid unloading waste samples are taken by CIAPOL in the presence of PAA; Maritime Affaires and Customs representatives, and of the company which is responsible for the removal of product.

The unloading of waste is allowed after communication by CIAPOL of analysis results from samples.

  1. Removal of solid waste

Companies involved in the removal of solid waste must have an authorization signed by the Minister in charge of the environment.

A statement is then made by the captain of the ship and it is signed by the following parties :

  • Approved company
  • Ship Harbour master's office


The removal of waste takes place after the signing of the statement on waste made by the above mentioned parties.



The Harbour Master of the Port of Abidjan is under the immediate command of the Managing Director of the Port of Abidjan; he is in charge of public order within the perimeter of the Port of Abidjan.

For this purpose, he works in general with all public services units in relation to matters directly related to public order.

Certain Defense and Security Forces (Special Port Police and the Special Group of the State police force of the Port) are made available for use.

Hence rounds and regular patrols are organized on both land and on the lagoon by non commissioned officers from the Port Police and State police force in the bonded area and police officers in the area outside Customs in order to secure the Port platform.

In the event of a disaster, the Port of Abidjan Port has an intervention unit, composed of officers from the fire service or the navy fire department, who are ready to respond 24 hours a day. Referred to as the Port response unit (U.I.P.), this unit is also responsible for :

  • The prevention of risks on the entire Port estate
  • Intervention on all accidents that occur on the Port estate
  • Ensure the safety monitoring of vessels carrying dangerous goods

The Port of Abidjan was awarded the certificate of compliance with the ISPS Code (International Code for the security of ships and Port facilities) since 1st July 2004. The Port Authority has continued since then to invest in the acquisition of new high-performance equipment to enhance security. This includes turnstiles at booths and video surveillance.

The Harbour Master of the Port is the Security Officer of the Port of Abidjan (PSO). He coordinates all activities relating to the implementation of the said Code.

As the customs bound area is subdivided into several Port facilities, all the security officers in these facilities are under the authority of the Harbour Master of the Port.( (PFSO/ASIP)

  1. Instructions to handlers and consignees

As the close surveillance of vessels and goods is the responsibility of forwarding agents and stevedoring companies, they are therefore required to commit this task to security companies approved by the Port Authority or to members of law enforcement agencies (police or State police force).

Users are also required to strictly abide by the specific safety provisions prescribed by the Port Authority during trade of foodstuffs and hazardous materials and for the management of hazardous materials.

This namely includes the isolation and the surveillance of the loading yards or the removal of such foodstuffs and the compliance to regulations, transporting and storing hazardous materials (IMDG Code and local regulations).

The rotation of crew members or the disembarkation of stowaways must respect the rules on immigration policy and the existing procedure.

  1. 1. Instructions to masters of vessels

Upon arrival in pilotage area

  • Every ship displays its distinguishing marks and the flag of its nation. In addition, any foreign ship shall sport the Ivorian flag at the mizzen mast.
  • Any vessel in a situation of collision damage and/or any vessel which is unable to use its power and all its gear for switching, mooring, docking, and which requires to enter the lagoon, must park off the coast of the Vridi canal until it is allowed to enter by the Harbour Master of the Abidjan Port.

For this purpose, the master of the vessel shall forward to the Harbour Master of the Port all information likely to sufficiently enlighten him on his situation.

It is strictly forbidden to anchor in the channel of the Vridi canal and in forbidden zones inside the channel less than seventy-five meters (75m)from the banks.

During the stay in the Port

Any vessel that is docked or in the inner harbour must leave its position within a maximum period of three (3) hours whenever commanded by the Harbour Master of the Port of Abidjan except in cases of force majeure recognized by the latter.

Any vessel moored in the Port of Abidjan should permanently have a minimum security crew and at least maintain one guard on board.

  • Avoid keeping lowered ladders.
  • Barter is prohibited in the Port.
  • Require the services of a security company
  • Inform guards if whenever any unwelcomed presence is detected
  • Contact security services on channels 12 and 13 in case of threat on goods and people.
  • Accommodation of prostitutes is prohibited

Prior to departure

  • Check that people have not boarded clandestinely
  • Contact the consignee, the immigration police officer and the security services of the Port on VHF channel 13 or 12 in the presence of stowaways on board and for disembarkation measures.


  1. Access to the Port

Access to roads, docks and medians inside the customs perimeter of the Port of Abidjan is closed to the public.

To penetrate and circulate inside the Port perimeter anyone or any vehicle must be equipped with a title of access issued by the harbour master.


Canal VHF Téléphone
Harbour masters’ office 12 (+225)21 21 23 86 97 / (+225)21 21 24 66 68
Look-out (Port Control) 12-16 (+225)21 21 27 58 50
Security Department 13 (+225)21 21 23 86 65
North area (Warehouse 3) 13 (+225)21 21 00 43 41
West area (Warehouse 11) 13 (+225)21 21 00 43 34
South area (Warehouse 19) 13 (+225)21 21 24 84 91
Water area (Embanking) 13 (+225)21 21 27 55 76
Port's State police force13 (+225)21 21 35 26 70
Port’s police station 13 (+225)21 22 48 20 50
PAA Fire Brigade 12 (+225)21 22 23 86 78


Canal VHF Téléphone
Harbour master of the port (PSO) 12 (+225)21 21 23 86 40
Deputy harbour master/ Security -safety (+225)21 21 23 86 72
Deputy harbour master/ Maritime operation 12 (+225)21 21 23 86 70

Manager Company

Côte d’Ivoire
BP V85 Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire
+225 21 21 23 80 80
+225 21 21 23 80 00

Société d'Etat au capital de
100 000 000 000 FCFA
Régistre de commerce N°182461