Steel Pre-Loading Surveys One of the Club’s earliest loss prevention initiatives was a programme to survey high-value finished steel products before loading.

Steel Pre-Loading Surveys

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Steel Pre-Loading Surveys

Steel Pre-Loading Surveys

One of the Club’s earliest loss prevention initiatives was a programme to survey high-value finished steel products before loading.
The precise arrangements for the surveys are the subject of discussion between the member and the Club.The importance of a pre-loading inspection,and the clausing of bills of lading for steel cargoes,are seen as a vital precaution to reduce claims arising from rust or contact damage.The Club’s Board has acknowledged the usefulness of these surveys and has approved an amendment to the Club’s Rules,which now require,as a condition of cover,such surveys to take place. As from 20 February 2005,the Rules will include a new clause that states:
(vi) In the event of the entered ship carrying finished steel products,the member warrants that:
(vi.a) the member will arrange for a pre-loading survey as to the condition of the cargo to be carried out by a surveyor approved by the Club at each port of shipment;
(vi.b) the bills of lading will be claused in accordance with the findings of the surveyor as to the condition of cargo at the time of loading.
For the purpose of steel pre-loading surveys,finished steel products include:
• steel or wire coils,bars,plate,profiles and channels
• construction steel,sheet steel or pipes
• coated or packaged steel
The Club will not require a pre-loading survey on:
• steel billets,ingots or ore
• scrap steel
• semi-finished steel slabs
The purpose of this note is to explain the new Club requirements and the survey procedures,and to outline typical clauses for inclusion on bills of lading.
Surveys
The principal reason why the Club requires a survey of finished steel plate,coils and profiles prior to loading is to check for pre-shipment damage and oxidisation,so that details of visible damage can be endorsed on the mate’s receipt and claused into bills of lading.This is important because it is common for steel cargoes to be physically damaged during handling and transportation from the steel mill to the quay.If details of that damage are not recorded on bills of lading,the carrier can be held liable for the damage,which will be presumed,by cargo interests,to have occurred while the goods were in the ship’s custody.Steel is also prone to rust before shipment,especially if it is exposed to the elements,and these details too must be recorded on bills of lading before they are signed.
Surveyors should be asked to check the cargo for damage present before loading and during cargo operations,to examine hatch covers and coamings for defects,to observe cargo stowage,to check ventilation procedures and to recommend to the master suitable clauses for the bills of lading.
It is important that surveyors check hatch cover seals because even minor leakage of seawater through hatch cover gaskets will cause cargo damage,leading to claims.Timely maintenance before the ship puts to sea will prevent this.The surveyor brings a fresh perspective and can identify minor faults that might have gone unnoticed by the ship’s crew.
Surveyors should be asked to examine hatch covers and other closing appliances,and to look for any defect or damage that could affect their sealing qualities and watertightness.Particular attention should be given to hatch panel alignment,sealing gaskets,wedges and cleats,the double-drainage channel and non-return valves.Any defect found should be reported to the master.If serious defects are discovered,the surveyor will contact the Club for advice.Watertightness tests are not normally required.
Cargo stowage is important for the safety of the ship and for the prevention of accidents that can occur if cargo shifts or falls.
Steel Pre-Loading Surveys – New Requirements
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Surveyors should be asked to observe cargo stowage and securing,and to report incorrect or dangerous stowage to the master.If the stowage and securing arrangements are fundamentally incorrect,the surveyor is required to contact the Club for instructions.
Steel is particularly susceptible to damage resulting from ship or cargo sweat.Cargo sweat is condensation on cold steel, while ship sweat is condensation on the ship’s structure that can then fall onto the cargo.Surveyors are asked to check that the master has been given instructions for ventilation of cargo spaces and that he correctly understands the requirements. As a rule of thumb,it is not usual to ventilate when sailing from a cold to a warm region.
Survey Procedures
Although the obligation is for the member to arrange the survey using a Club-approved surveyor,in practice,the Club will usually appoint the surveyor.Members,or their brokers,will need to contact the Club whenever a cargo of finished steel products is to be loaded,and the availability of an approved surveyor will be discussed.The Club will then advise as to who will settle the surveyor’s invoice.When he has done the survey, the surveyor will be required to send his report to the Club by e-mail. Clausing Bills of Lading
Surveyors are requested to assist the master when he needs to clause bills of lading with a description of cargo damage.
Special Feature
It is essential to describe the damage correctly
Any description used should be clear and unambiguous. The damaged component has to be precisely identified by referring to the steel mill reference number.If the description is vague and imprecise,or if the damaged component is not clearly identified,it will be difficult to convince receivers that the damage noted before the loading is the same damage found on delivery.
It is also essential to describe the damage correctly.It is no good reporting,for example,that ‘partial rust and some damage on two bundles of flat bound steel plate’.Precise descriptions such as,‘flat bound steel plate reference number xxxx rusted xx% of its surface and buckled along its edge’ should be used.
Surveyors will also check steel that is packaged,noting any defects or damage to the packing on the mate’s receipt and bills of lading.They will also record weather conditions, especially if steel is being loaded during snow,rain,or ice, or if it is soiled with chemicals,oil or other detritus.When steel is being loaded in humid conditions,the relative humidity will be recorded.
When describing damage on bills of lading,the following descriptions should be used:
• Flanges/webs/corners/edges – bent/buckled/distorted – along xxxx of its length
• Surface – dented/scoured/scratched/gouged – along xxxx of its length
• Packing/coating/strapping – ripped/torn/punctured – along/in/around xxxx position
• Plate/bar/channel/profile – dented/pitted in xx places and along xxxx edges
• Plate/bar/channel/profile – loaded in wet/damp/rain/snow/ice conditions
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