Some ocean carriers are suspending delivery of hazardous materials at Thailand ports because of a new Thai regulation requiring advance payment of insurance.
The regulation implemented by Thailand’s Maritime Department as of Feb. 11 requires all carriers transporting dangerous goods to and from Thailand to provide insurance to cover any third parties who may be affected by loading and discharging of dangerous goods.
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OOCL notified shippers last week it has temporarily suspended booking of any dangerous goods shipments going through Thailand ports on and after Feb. 11.
“The proposed insurance, besides other conditions, requires advance payment without any proof of fault and this condition cannot be accepted by our international P & I Clubs,” OOCL said in its notice to shippers.
One U.S. chemical exporter said the required insurance, which carriers would pass along to it and other chemical shippers, would make it too expensive to continue shipping hazmats directly to Thailand by ocean.
In the wake of OOCL’s notice, U.S. chemical exporters are exploring other ways of shipping hazmats to Thai customers. That could send some to overland transport through neighboring Malaysia until Thailand’s Maritime Department modifies the regulation.