New in steel pre-loading surveys procedure at Novorossiysk Commercial port (05.09.2000)
It is well known that different kinds of steel products are shipped from Russian ports and, in particular, from Novorossiysk. Ship-owners and ultimately their P&I insurers are therefore usually first in the firing line when steel cargo arrives at its destination. Before the shipment of steel products Ship Owners/P&I Clubs regularly commission independent pre-shipment survey of steel cargoes to ensure that bills of lading and/or mate’s receipts accurately describe the apparent condition of finished steel products, when they were accepted on board the vessel. But, honestly speaking, to have the game in hands the inspection of steel products is to be carried out by a skilled surveyor and the cargo is to be described carefully and authentically.
respect of conducting steel preloading survey at Novorossiysk port we would like
to highlight the situation, which presently takes place at Novorossiysk.
cargo of finished steel products arrives at Novorossiysk port by railway
in apparent good condition, but due to careless handling and the fact
that very often the cargo is stored in the open storage in the port, the
condition of some cargo deteriorates very much. In these circumstances the
condition of the cargo arriving at Novorossiysk port by railway considerably
differs from that of the cargo loaded on board the vessel.
August 2000 the port authorities faced several claims from the Cargo Shipper
regarding deterioration of the cargo condition while in the port's custody. The
port administration immediately took the action in order to protect own
interests, but to our regret those were not the actions of improvement of
handling technology. Generally all the actions taken were aimed to putting
pressure on the surveyors who act on behalf of Ship Owners and their P&I
Clubs and are involved in the cargo inspection both before and during loading
operations. Now the port authorities are trying to put difficulties in the way
of surveyors acting on behalf of the carriers enforcing surveying company to
sign additional agreements, according to which it is prohibited for surveyors to
make pictures at the port territory. Also, before conducting any inspection at
the port territory the port authorities request to co-ordinate this inspection
with cargo shippers and to receive from them written permission, which is
preternatural for a surveyor acting on behalf of the Ship Owners. Moreover, any
inspection of the cargo is permitted only in the presence of the port custodian.
By this way the Port Administration makes it very difficult for the surveyor to
perform the cargo inspection in the storages and warehouses before loading.
company like others who act on behalf of Ship Owners and their P&I Clubs has
found itself in a rather difficult situation. But nevertheless we manage to
avoid the pressure of Port Authorities. Now almost every vessel under loading
operations is serviced by the team of surveyors, not by one as it had been
before. As it has become impossible to conduct the inspection at the port
warehouse every cargo unit is expected just before its loading on board in the
presence of tallymen and stevedores of the port. The port labours are pointed to
all the defects, which the cargo has and the receipts are issued according to
which the remarks reflecting the apparent cargo condition are inserted into Bill(s)
of Lading. In case of any dispute, having such a set of documents the surveyor
of our company has a chance to prove with documents and in full volume that the
above remarks reflect the real condition of the loaded cargo.
Finally we consider that even in such a situation all surveys carried out by our company will be conducted on the same high level as before.
Copyright © 2002 Novorossiysk Marine Company Limited