The European and Asian shippers’ councils have urged UN maritime officials to reject proposals for the mandatory weighing and verification of ocean containers before they are loaded on board ship.
The shippers’ organizations launched their appeal on the eve of a key meeting of an International Maritime Organization committee that will consider whether there should be global mandatory rules for blanket weighing of containers.
The shipper groups, which claim to represent 75 percent of the global container trade, said the proposals, aimed at improving safety at sea, have been made without proper analysis of their impact.
In a joint statement they called for members of the IMO’s subcommittee on dangerous goods, solid cargoes and containers to reject the proposals when they meet next week in London.
“One hundred percent checks are not feasible in practice and will not address the root causes of the accidents at sea.”
“Making weight verification mandatory will merely add to the costs, resulting in undue delays in the supply chain without significantly decreasing the risk of occurrence of such accidents,” the statement said.
A one-size-fits-all solution being discussed by the IMO is not only ineffective, but may even be detrimental to international trade and shipping, the shippers claimed.