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Hefty fees await non-compliant consignors

Consignors and any company involved in the transport of cargo, whether general freight, refrigerated or dangerous goods by road, rail or water, in any form of container, trailer, tanker or rail car, will be required by law to implement and adhere to the new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU).

Compliance requires contents to be firmly secured to prevent movement when transported, particularly under turbulent conditions, as well as a stable distribution of weight (within the weight limitations) inside the container prior to sealing and shipping the consignment.

The new regulations for the verification of container weight will come into effect in July 2016. This means that the consignor, in other words, the company responsible for packing the contents, will be liable for all the costs associated to any damage incurred should an incident occur while the cargo is in transport.

These essential compliance issues were discussed by industry leaders from all over the world at the recent CTU Packing Roadshow in Durban.

Captain Richard Brough from London, Director of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA – an NGO association representing the interests of the global cargo handling industry), spoke about the consequences of incorrectly secured contents and

Captain Richard Brough from London, Director of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA – an NGO association representing the interests of the global cargo handling industry), spoke about the consequences of incorrectly secured contents and miss-declared cargo weights and how in-depth research conducted resulted in the amendment of the Code to further enforce proper securing and weight restrictions on cargo transportation.

“Container weight verification is crucial as part of this whole process; being a tonne or so out on your calculations can have devastating effects and cause major accidents and losses. With these new measures, it is hoped that high impact incidents will be significantly reduced if not eradicated.”

Justin Reynolds from the International Maritime Insurance company TT Club added that “Disastrous transport incidents are often a result of a domino effect following a single cause, whether its weight, packing or securing related. It’s therefore exceptionally important that we encourage behavioural change through regulations at all levels of the supply chain, to reduce loss and serious liability.”

Representatives from South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Department of Transport endorsed the need for greater awareness, implementation and compliance by South African industries to reduce incidents in all modes of transport. The next stage is to create awareness about the availability of the amended CTU Code and weight verification regulations and to train staff appropriately, which will result in improved compliance and fewer incidents.

The extensively revised and upgraded IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of CTUs was approved in January 2014 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and United Nations Economic Council for Europe (UNECE) Transport Committee, and in November by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), thereby protecting workers loading the cargo and also preventing accidents during transport. Companies involved in any form of CTU logistics must comply with the new Code this year and the weight verification regulations by July 2016.

The event was organised for ICHCA by, and in partnership with the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA), followed by a one-day International Maritime Dangerous Goods Training (IMDG) session.

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