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Dialogue sought on cargo misdeclaration fines


FIATA is calling for urgent dialogue with the top carriers in the wake of recent moves by shipping lines to impose penalties on shippers who misdeclare cargoes. 


According to shipping lines, this is aimed at improving safety and reducing delays, given that a quarter of all serious incidents on board containerships have been attributed to misdeclared cargo as referenced by the Cargo Incident Notification System initiative, said a release.


In a recent interview with Lloyd’s List, FIATA Acting Director-General, Mr Stephen Morris, stressed that forwarders are fully supportive of the need for safety at sea, and the lives of seafarers and the protection of shipowners’ property in vessels should rightly be paramount.


Another question on which FIATA is seeking clarity is whether the fines apply solely to the misdeclaration of dangerous goods, or any instance in which goods are misdeclared. Mr Morris highlighted the difference between full container load and less than container load consignments. “If you’re stuffing a container with a variety of other people’s goods, you don’t know the condition of those goods and whether the goods in that container are properly described on the documentation, or whether those goods are compatible in terms of creating a chemical reaction.”


FIATA has already been in telephonic contact with major carriers, requesting a chance to talk over the matter, Mr Morris maintained, as per the release. “What we are saying is, let’s have some discussion on how we can help you, and we can help our members comply with your (shipping lines) provisions”.

 

Source : Exim News Service - Glattbrugg (Switzerland), Aug. 21

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