Undeclared batteries – The cause of containership fire
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Last week saw the first containership fire of the year following a spate of similar issues during 2019. A fire broke out onboard the vessel ‘Cosco Pacific’, which resulted in an emergency diversion and the schedule being delayed until further notice.
The 10,000 teu containership was en route to Nhava Sheva Port in India from the Far East and had to be rerouted to Colombo for inspection.
According to reports, Chinese authorities immediately identified the cause of the blaze, which they attributed to a shipment of lithium batteries that were not declared as dangerous goods. The three containers in question had been declared to the steamship line as ‘spare parts and accessories’.
Lithium batteries, which are used commonly in electronic devices, are usually classified as class 9 dangerous goods.
The misdeclaration of dangerous goods can be an illegal means of reducing freight costs, although carriers are clamping down on the issue by imposing severe penalties to businesses. The risks for individuals involved includes the potential of imprisonment.
Evolution Forwarding specialise in the packing, documentation, compliance and movement of dangerous goods internationally, our expertise and willingness to get the job done has positioned us second to none in this important area.
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From 1st April 2022, new IATA regulations have once again been introduced for the movement of lithium batteries by air. These changes were buried in the IATA DG Regulations.
China introduced new legislations with regard to the importing and exporting of dangerous goods resulting in a crackdown on regulations and even more stringent checks.
A fire at a Chinese airport on Saturday has led to immediate suspicions that lithium batteries may have once again been the cause of an incident.