Recently one of our Members carried two shipments of US Aid cargo from the United States to Yemen. When the cargo arrived in Yemen, both were both found heavily infested. The surveyor observed live and crawling insects within the tween deck hatch square and random sampling of the bags revealed live crawling insects and larvae.
The bags were marked:
USA FLOUR, All purpose, Enriched, Bleached. Fortified with Calcium and Vitamin A,
Net Weight 50kgs 110.23pounds, Contract No. VEPD 02146, Contract No. VEPD 02147
No date of production was marked.
Initially SGS, appointed by the shippers, claimed that the infestation originated from the ship though they were later surprised by owners' production of a USDA Stowage Examination Worksheet and a Certificate of Readiness from the National Cargo Bureau, certifying the ship fit to carry the cargo.
In the case of the first shipment, the Yemeni Government had sold the cargo but the buyers refused to accept it. After a long delay (the ship's local agents had great difficulty in contacting the relevant people in the Yemeni Ministries) the buyers were forced by the Ministry to accept it. In the case of the second shipment, the ship was eventually allowed to leave port, although the cargo was left on the quayside, the matter being left unresolved.
We understand two other main line carriers have also recently had similar problems with similar US Aid cargo.
We are advised that this infestation is of pre-shipment origin and that the consignment is probably old stock.
In this case the member's charter was with in the Yemeni Government and communication with them has proved extremely difficult especially in respect of the recovery of costs for delays additional agency/storage costs etc.
As we understand there are more US aid cargoes being sent to the Yemen we strongly advise Members to bear these facts in mind before fixing.
Source of Information:
David Clark (L6)