GENERAL CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages.

GENERAL CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages - MASCOTMARITIME

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GENERAL CARGO – Claims Prevention & Claims Handling for Shortages.


General Cargo Claims Prevention for Shortages.

Somewhat, shortages from general cargoes are almost unavoidable, but they can be controlled or prevented by taking the following measures by ship’s staff.

1) Accurate tallies at load and discharge ports should be made either by the ship’s staff or by professional tally companies.

 At ports where tallying is known to be of poor quality, and if large quantities of cargo are involved, it is recommended that the crew perform an additional tally of the cargo as it passes over the ship’s rail.

2) In order to deter potential pilferers and discourage unauthorized persons from gaining access to the vessel, proper Security and control procedures should be clearly enforced.

Every reasonable effort is to be made by the Master, the SSO, and the crew to ensure that all personnel visiting the vessel are suitably identified and have legitimate business on board. Points of access to the vessel should be limited to the minimum necessary for the safe and efficient working of the vessel and controlled by reliable gangway watchmen.

In some areas of the world, particularly in some ports in the Far East, West Africa, and South America, robbery – often involving the use of firearms & knives is a serious issue.

In such cases, additional precautions are necessary including extra lighting of the vessel at night, the lifting of gangways whenever they are not required, and regular patrols of the vessel to prevent access either from the quayside or from the seaside by small boats.

General cargo Claims Handling for Shortages.

In the event of short delivery of general cargoes, the following investigation should normally be carried out with the agent & the P&I club’s assistance.

1)The tallies of load should be rechecked. This can be done by the load port agent.

2) The discharge port tally and outturn report should be checked at the discharge port together with the ship’s manifest and records of the customs authorities.

3) The mate’s receipts should be obtained and checked against the relevant bills of lading.

4) Cargo tracers should be sent out to the agents at other ports of call and thorough searches should be made, both onboard the vessel itself and at the discharge port.

Check should be made to ensure that there is no cargo of similar nature at any port which has been landed as excess cargo or “under nil or wrong marks”.

5)The following additional documents will normally be required by the P&I Club:

a) The original bill of lading.

b) The cargo manifest.

c) The charter party/voyage instructions if any.

d) In case the claim is by cargo underwriters or a recovery agent, the subrogation certificate will be needed.

e) The Cargo value evidence, like the seller’s invoice or any other authentic documents. The value of the Goods shall be first determined in accordance with all available documents, or, in their absence, in accordance with exchange prices, or, in their absence, in accordance with market prices, or, in their absence, in accordance with the value of commodities of the same type/kind, range, and quality.

f) Claim note or other documentary evidence showing how the claim is calculated.

g) Port outturn report submitted by the claimant in support of their claims.

h) The Cargo Survey certificate

Depending on the type and size of the claim, additional inquiries may be necessary. For example, in the case of bagged cargoes, it is necessary to establish whether empty bags were included in the tallies, whether sweepings were collected and how the weight was calculated and whether the bags for sweepings were the same size as the original bags.


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