Four major international shipping industry organisations have jointly urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to act to prevent misdecleration of container cargo weights.
BIMCO, International Association Of Ports And Harbors (IAPH), International Chamber Of Shipping (ICS) and World Shipping Council (WSC) say this has been a long-standing problem for the transportation industry and for governments.
They add: “The problem is significant and arises in almost every trade. Misdeclared container weights present safety hazards for ships, their crews, other cargo on board, workers in the port facilities handling containers and on roads. Incorrectly declared weights lead to incorrect ship stowage and accidents. Misdeclared container weights facilitate unlawful evasion of customs tariffs and duties, while also impairing customs authorities’ ability to perform accurate cargo security risk assessment.”
This month, IMO will consider a compromise solution developed and agreed by 15 governments and 13 industry groups. The industry bodies stress that “This compromise should be adopted as a long-needed improvement to maritime safety.”
They argue: “The IMO has recognized and discussed the problem of incorrect container weights for over six years. With the input of many governments and industry organizations, the IMO now has before it an openly and carefully negotiated and crafted compromise proposal for addressing this recognized and documented safety and customs problem.”