We have been recently informed of a situation where several major ocean carriers of containerised cargo have been contracted to carry containers said to contain plastic goods, but on opening contained plastic waste.
The cargo concerned was loaded in Canada and the USA for consignees based in Hong Kong. Upon delivery of the containers the consignee named on the bill of lading refused to accept delivery as previous shipments had been found to contain plastic scrap waste rather than the cargo described on the bill of lading.
We have been advised that several hundred containers have been shipped by this method, involving two shippers, one based in Halifax Canada and the other in Inglewood California USA. In both instances the shipper has fraudulently avoided paying the freight and the ocean carrier has also become liable for additional costs while negotiations take place to seek the most appropriate means to dispose of the cargo.
This type of shipment is very similar to the used tyres fraud detailed in LP Bulletin 216. The sole reason for moving this type of cargo is to shift the burden of disposing of the waste on to others.
We advise all Members to be aware of this type of shipment, especially when dealing with an unfamiliar shipper who seeks within a short period of time to export large numbers of containers. If in doubt, please contact Signum Services Ltd.
Source of information:
Signum Services Ltd
Tel +44 20 7283 5616