London P&I Club Warns About Increase at Vietnamese Ports

Thursday, February 20, 2003
The London P&I Club has warned its members about an increase in the number of claims for cargo damage and shortage arising during the discharge of agricultural products at ports in Vietnam. In the latest edition of its StopLoss Bulletin, the Club notes that, according to P&I correspondent Wallem Shipping (Vietnam), there appears to be a particular risk of shortage allegations in cases where draft surveys are performed unilaterally by surveyors to determine cargo outturn quantities on behalf of local receivers. Wallem suggests that members should minimise the danger of shortage claims by arranging for independent surveyors to conduct draft surveys jointly with the shippers' and receivers' surveyors at the load port and discharge port, before and on completion of cargo operations. The correspondents also report a high instance of cargo damage as a result of rainfall during discharge due to delay in closing vessel hatchcovers. They note that there is a local susceptibility to the sudden onset of heavy rain showers, and emphasise that crews should be particularly vigilant for signs of approaching rainfall, to enable a prompt response in the event that closure of the hatchcovers becomes necessary. The Club concludes that maintaining in vessel files and logbooks comprehensive records of draft surveys and instances of suspension of cargo operations due to rain and the like should help support the vessel's position in relation to cargo outturn figures and condition.

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