Discharging Bagged Rice in Ukranian Ports

28 June 2004 No.501
Enclosed please find a copy of E-mail which was sent by Dias Maritime Consultants, our correspondent in Odessa, Ukraine, who has advised of the recent troubles of discharging the bagged rice at Ukranian ports.

We hope that this will be of good assistance to you.

To: Japan P & I Club
From: DIAS Marine Consultants, Odessa, Ukraine

Dear Sirs,

This is to advise of frequent incidents happening in Ukrainian ports where vessels faced difficulties at discharging bagged rice due to allegedly non-sound cargo condition. As soon as a vessel arrives at a Ukrainian port the State Sanitary Authority comes on board and inspects apparent condition of the cargo. In case mould is found even on the cargo packing then SSA prohibits discharge of all cargo from holds where mouldy bags are found. SSA has quite tough position and it is difficult to negotiate with them and cargo receivers who might as well reject the cargo claiming it does not correspond to the clean bills of lading and on grounds of the conclusion of SSA. Sometimes mould may be apparent only on outside of the bags, but in many cases the rice adjoining the material of the bag is also affected with mould. It should be stressed that it makes no difference for SSA where mould was found and segregation of cargo with further discharging of sound bags is often forbidden.

This problem concerns most vessels arriving from Chinese loadports where sometimes the cargo which is packed in single woven polypropelene bags (not double bags) is stored in stacks in the open area covered by tarpaulin and as a consequence some bags become wetted/collect moisture before and at loading operations. During a long passage from China to the Black Sea ports the ships cross several climatic zones with diverse ambient temperatures that causes formation of cargo sweat. Improper stowage of cargo inside the holds without sufficient (vertical and horizontal) channel ventilation also contributes to development of mould.

We wish to urge Members to inform Masters of their vessels about current situation with rice in Ukrainian ports and precautions against mould development that must be taken. Master of a vessel should make certain that the cargo is stored at a warehouse prior to loading. If cargo is stored improperly then a letter of protest has to be issued prior to loading. Inspection of cargo should be arranged during loading operations to prevent any wetted bags from getting inside the vessel's holds. The cargo must be stowed properly to ensure satisfactory cargo ventilation during the voyage and to monitor the above an appropriate guide such as "Thomas Stowage" should be supplied on board for easy reference as well as instructions on ventilation of the cargo during the voyage, "dry" and "wet" thermometers to define dew point and instructions as to quantity and places of measurements. If Master ascertains damage to the cargo within vessel's passage then a P&I correspondent should be notified at disport so that the latter may arrange timely assistance and appoint qualified surveyors who would try to minimize potential claim.

Hope the above will be of help.

Best regards,

DIAS Co. Ltd.
1 Bazarnaya Street, Odessa, 65014, Ukraine
Tel.: +38 0482 346124, 377696, 323582, 323564,
Fax: +38 0482 373873