970 - 05/14 - Ships arrested for illegal Iron Ore Exports - Mexico

The Club has recently been advised of issues with the export operations of Iron Ore from Mexico. Local Correspondents, Pandi Nave S A, have advised the following:


“1. During the last years, Mexican drug cartel, denominated, “Knight Templar” took control of several mines in the states of Michoacán and Colima. The affected ports are Lazaro Cardenas, located in Michoacán and Manzanillo, located in Colima. The Iron Ore was their principle source of income, according to Mexican Government information they are charging $15.00 per metric ton for the process, from extraction to transport, processing, storage, permits and finally export; the cartel skims $15.00 for every ton arriving in port.


2. The Mexican Government has issued 900 concessions in Michoacán to mine Iron Ore. In 2008, only 1.5 percent of the Iron Ore exports to China went through the state port of Lazaro Cardenas, but by 2012, nearly half of the exports to the Asian Country were processed there.


3. The Mexican Government have been taking actions to combat the illegal traffic of Iron Ore, instructing that Mexican Navy take the control in the ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas, this is, the Maritime Port Authority in both ports are members of the Navy; in the same manner, the Port Administration (API) in both ports are managed by Navy Admirals. Changes were also made to local laws, especially to our local Navigation law in which the Government inserted new articles regarding the security operations inside the ports which will be performed by the Mexican Navy in whole.


4. Taking all the above into consideration may we suggest that members that will export Iron Ore from Mexico request the following documents to the shipper/exporter prior to beginning operations and/or fixing the C/P agreement:


4.1. The relevant “Export Permit” issued by Mexican Ministry of Economy which must be in force.


4.2. Confirm and verify that shipper/exporter is been registered in the “Sectorial Exports Census”, if not, they cannot make the exportation of Iron Ore.


4.3. Request the name of the mine from which the iron ore was extracted, and afterward verify if they are registered in the following link http://www.siam.economia.gob.mx/es/siam/2013


4.4. In addition to above point Members can search the name of the shipper and/or company in the mining sector directory established by the Mexican Government in the following link:



In conclusion, shippers shall deliver all the necessary documents that prove the legal origin of the iron ore, under our legal point of view, if Members want to protect their interests, they should request through agents and/or local correspondent the following documents:


A) Export Permit in force issued by the Ministry of Economy.


B) Register number in the Sectorial Export Census.


C) Name of the company that sold the iron ore to the shippers (in the event that shippers are not the original sellers) and afterward carry out the search of the company in the above mentioned links.”


Source of information


Pandi Nave S.A de C.V.

UK P&I Club Correspondent - Mexico



UK P&I Club Loss Prevention Dept


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