Bangladesh has recently set up an Environmental Ministry which has responsibility for controlling and authorising the disposal of damaged grain cargoes by dumping at sea. A number of steps must be followed to obtain permission from the Ministry, which include obtaining approval from the owners of the goods, the port authority and Customs. A major difficulty which has come to light is that the Ministry, like many civil service organisations, is very beauraucratic, and it can take some time to get approval to dispose of damaged cargo. We understand some ships may have been delayed for up to two months as a result of this.
It may sometimes be possible to get permission from Customs to discharge damaged cargo into a barge or lighter pending approval from the Ministry to dump the cargo.
The ship's local agents are responsible for ensuring the formalities are complied with and the active intervention of the agent is fundamental to success. The Clubs local correspondent has no status in this matter with the responsible bodies and can have only a limited influence on the speed of events by monitoring what the agents do and prompting them as needed.
The correspondent recommends that to minimise the risk of delay the local agents should commence the formal procedures as quickly as possible after the damage is discovered, to try to get everything ready to dump the damaged cargo once all sound cargo is discharged, or should make early arrangements to get permission from customs to discharge the damaged cargo into a barge.
Source of Information :
External Through Trevor Elliston (S2)