Not Logged In, Login,

Thursday, July 19, 2018

CHITTAGONG & KARACHI – CLAIMS OF ALLEGED CARGO SHORTAGES AND CUSTOMS FINES – warning to members

At a recent meeting of the Insurance Committee experience was exchanged on the potential problems owners face when calling at certain ports and in particular Chittagong and Karachi. Members are reminded of the consequences of possible claims for alleged cargo shortages and customs fines. Vessels are facing claims even when the quantity discharged matches the bill of lading figures and the vessel’s tanks are dry upon completion of discharge. Claims are often notified to owners even before the vessel has completed discharge and threats are made to arrest the vessel unless a P&I Club letter of guarantee is given. In effect, owners are being held to ransom by the local authorities. Consequently owners’ claims records are prejudiced. Whilst it is possible for owners to include an indemnity provision in the charterparty so that charterers bear any loss due to this practice, this will not alleviate the practical difficulties and delay that owners will still face at the port. Owners are advised to ensure that their P&I Club appoint a local surveyor to protect their position.

In order to bring an end to this malpractice a concerted effort is required amongst shipowners and their P&I insurers to ensure that such claims are contested.