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March 14 2018
Under the new Regulation 693-E/2017, the system for checking the cargo-worthiness of holds and tanks of ships and barges for the export of grains and their products and by-products will be compulsorily applied to all ships.
The cargo-worthiness verification procedure aims to ensure compliance with the essential minimum requirements for storing grains and their products and by-products in holds and tanks before loading starts. These requirements replace those previously established under Regulation 28/2005.
Under Article 4(b), holds or tanks can be rejected where at least one of the following reasons is verified and of significant magnitude to compromise – wholly or in part – the quality and condition of the cargo:
The smell of paint is not a valid reason for rejection. In such cases, a reasonable ventilation time will be allowed before rejecting the hold.
For operations where the buyer's country requires official checks, the interested party must receive a cargo-worthiness certificate from the National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA). A surveying company's intervention will not be required. However, if the buyer's country requires no official checks, cargo-worthiness verification may be carried out by a surveying company.
Article 7 is Regulation 693-E/2017's most controversial aspect. Under this article, SENASA must conduct technical audits of surveying companies' verification procedures. As a result, SENASA can reject a ship which has been previously approved by a surveying company. The most common case in point is where a ship was approved at roads and then rejected at berth.
The new regulation will be in force for only one year. As it includes provisions regarding live insects and arachnids, it takes a tougher stance than the previous regulation, which referred only to specific insects found in grains from previous cargoes. The presence of previous cargo is another controversial aspect of the new regulation, as it posits that decks (as well as holds) must be free of any previous cargo.
Further, the new regulation introduces new grounds for the rejection of holds, as discuseed above. In addition, the regulation does not clarify whether inspections should take place at roads or berth, leading to difficult discussions between charterers and shipowners regarding inspection costs.
Since the regulation has come into force, it is common to see SENASA inspectors boarding random ships. They are meant to monitor private surveyors; however, in practice, they enter holds, climb bulkheads and look for minor issues. This is similar to the inspection climate experienced under the previous regime.
In terms of compliance, ships that meet industrial standards should face no major issues and any attempt from surveyors or inspectors to reject such a ship could be challenged.
For further information on this topic please contact Francisco Venetucci at Venetucci & Asociados by telephone (+54 3476 421 556) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Venetucci & Asociados website can be accessed at www.venetucci.net.
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