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March 19, 2013

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Attempts to hide cargo dangers rise

Carrying cars in a container overseas could be dangerous as Shanghai maritime authorities find a rising number of transporters who fail to file reports on the dangerous goods, including car batteries and fuel which can cause troubles.
So far this year the maritime supervisors seized 36 such containers with more than 130 vehicles and fined the ship companies.
Most of the vehicles were second-hand ones sold to other countries using Shanghai ports as transit.
"Some transporters skip the files on purpose just to save the the time of applying and more importantly, to save their costs," said Chen Tao, a maritime official based at local Yangshan Port, one of the major harbors for containers.
Chen said the transport fares are about 30 percent higher when transporting dangerous goods than the normal ones.
The authorities said the vehicles should file reports as dangerous transport goods if there's fuel left in vehicle's tank, according to International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. And the fuel in the tank should not surpass one-fourth of the total tank, or 250 litres.
The hazards lie as the fuel or the storage battery on the vehicles happened leaks during transport.
Officials said the process to file a dangerous goods transport application is usually take more time.
Once detected carrying the irregular vehicles, the goods owners and transporters should reapply to the maritime authorities and wait for reapprovals.
The ship owners may turn to the goods owners or agencies seeking for the compensation of the losses during the delays.
In one recent case maritime officials checked 18 containers carrying cars, which failed to report at Yangshan Port on March 13. The goods were imported from Japan and were about to taken to southern American countries like Chile and Honduras, said port officials.
The maritime administration said they would strengthen the crackdowns. Meanwhile the city maritime administration starts campaigns on ship overloading.


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