136 - 4/00 - Container Pilferage (Pharmaceuticals) - Marseilles - France

We are currently investigating a serious case of pharmaceuticals pilferage in Marseilles which has revealed some disturbing practices. It would appear there is an organised system of delivering empty containers (declared as full) to the port. Once in the port, allegedly with the help of port employees and forklifts, these containers are  filled with goods pilfered from other containers. The containers are then shipped to their point of destination where the pilfered goods are collected by the parties involved (in this case West Africa). Similarly  the pilfered containers are shipped to their destination with the subsequent claim for loss on the carrier.

Under French Law it is not possible for cargo interests  to proceed directly against the stevedores when a contractual (b/l) situation exists. The carriers only possibility to avoid a claim in this type of case is to present a recourse action against the stevedores. This is hampered by a further problem  in Marseilles which is that surveillance video tapes, of the areas concerned, are not being kept long enough by the port before being erased.

We would strongly recommend members request secure stowage for their containers in Marseilles prior to/ after discharge, and ensure their staff are fully aware of this current problem.

Further information can be obtained from the Club's correspondent in Marseilles .


Tel + 33 4 96 102 525

Fax + 33 4 91 372 981

E mail McLeans.Marseille@Wanadoo.fr  


Source of information : 

John Savignon (L7)

Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.