Hamburg-based container line operator Hapag Lloyd is planning stiff penalties for shippers which mis-declare hazardous goods.
In a notice to customers the operator has said in the overall interest of safe operation onboard, for mis-declaration of hazardous cargoes prior to shipment it will implement a penalty of $15,000.00 per container, effective as from September 15, 2019’.
The notice goes o to say ‘Failure to properly offer and declare hazardous cargoes prior to shipment is a violation of the Hazardous Material Regulations. Such violations may be subject to monetary fines and/or criminal prosecution under applicable law.
To ensure the safety of our crew, ships and other cargo onboard, Hapag-Lloyd 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 mis-declared cargoes.
Hapag-Lloyd’s action is the latest in a series of actions taken by line operators following a string of incidents including the major fire on the company’s Yantian Express in January this year. Maersk has already began a programme of inspecting cargoes in selected containers and at the end of July OOCL also announced a possible penalty for mis-declared cargoes although the amount per container was not specified in its notice to customers.