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Hapag-Lloyd to Fine Shippers for Misdeclared Hazardous Cargoes

PortandTerminal.com, August 7, 2019

German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd revealed its plans to implement a penalty of USD 15,000 per container for misdeclared hazardous cargoes.

HAMBURG, GERMANY – The company said that the measure would be effective as of September 15, 2019, and was introduced “in the overall interest of safe operation on board.”

The move comes on the back of a major incident that occurred on one of the company’s containerships earlier this year. The 7,510 TEU vessel Yantian Express suffered a fire while sailing some 650 nautical miles off the Canadian coast in January 2019. A month later, the Yantian Express berthed in Freeport, Bahamas, for an evaluation process and cargo discharge preparation.

Peter Tirschwell, IHS Markit, commenting on the recent rash of container ship fires

At least 5,400 accidents just waiting to happen each year

In March 2019, a container fire broke out on the Grimaldi Group’s Grande America, which later sank as a result. According to Grimaldi, the fire on its vessel started in a container stowed on the deck

Based on 2016 figures, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association estimates that 5.4 million containers are packed with dangerous goods (DG) every year. If just one in a thousand of those 5.4 million containers is a serious fire risk, that means that there are 5,400 potential incidents waiting to happen each year.

Hapag-Lloyd explained that, in order to ensure the safety of its crew, ships and other cargo on board, it holds the shipper liable and responsible for all costs and consequences related to violations, fines, damages, incidents, claims and corrective measures resulting from cases of undeclared or misdeclared cargoes.

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