AN international group promoting best practice in the handling of cargo has released a presentation online that addresses how global supply chains can reduce the risk of pest transference through cargo movements.
The Cargo Integrity Group (CIG) brings together the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), the Global Shippers’ Forum, TT Club, World Shipping Council (WSC) and the Container Owners Association.
The CIG recognises the importance of focusing on the threat of invasive pests to natural resources across the world, but is concerned about moves to impose broad-based measures to mitigate such risks.
This call to action follows the intentions by pest control experts under the auspices of the International Plant Protection Convention, to take all-encompassing, internationally imposed steps such as the mandatory certification of cleanliness for all containers prior to loading onboard a ship.
“A measure that would have significant impact on global trade when it comes to both time and cost,” CIG said in a statement.
Lars Kjaer, senior vice president of the WSC, explained the CIG partners concerns around these proposals.
“We know that more serious risks occur among certain types of goods and from identified regions. The CIG recommendation centres on the need to provide proper risk assessments in defined trades and focus mandatory measures on these high-risk areas and cargoes.”
The partners in CIG promote the use of the Code of Practice for the Packing of Cargo Transport Units published by the IMO, the UNECE and the ILO (the CTU Code).
“The serious issue of the transfer of invasive pests between different natural ecosystems is very much a part of this commitment,” CIG said in a statement.
“It is also crucial that the development of any such controls is undertaken in full consultation with other appropriate bodies, in particular the international agencies responsible for the governance of world trade and for the regulation of different modes of transport, as well as supply chain stakeholders and industry practitioners.”
James Hookham, secretary general of Global Shippers’ Forum, said, “There are identified risk areas and cargoes which must be addressed, and the CIG partners look forward to contributing essential industry expertise to the work of the IPPC to ensure an effective and efficient set of recommendations and best practices to stop the transfer of invasive species.”