Home » Maritime » Standard cargo stowage system mulled

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is proposing a standard cargo stowage system for use by all domestic shipping lines. This, after authorities noted that improper lashing of cargoes was a frequent reason for the sinking of vessels.

Marina administrator Maria Elena Bautista yesterday presented for approval to the Marina Board and the Department of Transportation and Communication a memorandum circular that provides for the “rules and regulations on implementing the applicable provisions on safe practice for cargo stowage and securing in the domestic shipping.”

Once approved, the circular will apply to lines whose ships are 500 gross tons (GT) and above.

The circular will require companies to submit a cargo securing manual (CSM) and for them to have sufficient quantity of reserve cargo-securing devices onboard the ship.

Under the circular, a sling/wire rope for lashing cargo should be capable of withstanding a load of not less than a 25 kN/2.8-ton force and not more than a 133 kN/ 14.949-ton force.

The vessels should also be fitted with slip hooks and turnbuckles accessible at all times. Wire rope lashings should have a short length of long link chain to permit the length of lashings to be regulated

“It is strictly ordered that all cargo must be efficiently secured. To do this, we have provided them (shipping lines) guidance on cargo stowage as well as proper lashing. We’re already spoon feeding them because they (seem to) want to be treated (like) a baby. What else do they need? We can’t watch over their engines at all times,” Bautista said.

For companies without the required CSM, penalties will be imposed: P50,000 to P150,000 for ships 150 GT and above; P25,000 to P100,000 for ships 50 GT to 149.99 GT; and P12,500 to P50,000 for motor boats 35.1 GT to 49.99 GT.

Erring vessel owners and operators also face cancellation of their Certificate of Public Convenience, Master’s Seafarers Identification and Record Book, and Qualification Documentation Certification.

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