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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Philippines: Del Monte, Sulpicio swap raps

This is from the Inquirer.
Perhaps Sulpico has been transporting dangerous goods on passenger ferries for some time. I assume that is not legal. It still remains to be seen what the state of the pesticide is within the cargo van within the ship. As another post indicates the UN has sent experts. This shows the danger that may be involved.

Del Monte, Sulpicio swap raps at BMI hearing
By Katherine EvangelistaINQUIRER.netFirst Posted 15:37:00 07/11/2008
MANILA, Philippines -- The broker for the food conglomerate who owns the 10 tons of toxic cargo onboard the ill-fated MV Princess of the Stars faced the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) during the resumption of the hearing Friday.
The BMI is the fact finding body investigating the cause of the sinking of the Sulpicio Lines Inc. (SLI)-owned Princess of the Stars which capsized and sank off the coast of Romblon during the onslaught of typhoon “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen), bringing down some 800 passengers and crew and endosulfan on board.
CEVA Philippines Country Manager Dante Macaisa, following orders from their client, Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI), claimed that they solicited the services of SLI to transport the 40-foot container van loaded with 400 boxes of endosulfan pesticide to Cagayan de Oro.
Macaisa added that during the preparation for the domestic bill of loading, CEVA submitted 10 required documents -- the Material Safety Data Sheet, International Bill of Lading (BOL), Certificate of Insurance, and Transit Cargo Manifest to Sulpicio, which properly identifies the endosulfan cargo to be “toxic” and a “marine pollutant.”
However, Macaisa claimed that Sulpicio’s representative said that other documents “were not necessary” and gave them back to CEVA Philippines. Macaisa did not identify which documents were returned.
SLI legal counsel Arthur Lim asked for clarification on whether CEVA Philippines received an “acknowledgement receipt” from Sulpicio’s representative, verifying that the broker had submitted the documents.
In response to the query, Macaisa said that they were not issued the receipt.
In an interview, SLI spokesperson and legal counsel Ma. Victoria Lim-Florido asked whether CEVA could furnish a copy of the acknowledgement receipt that would prove that the pertinent documents were presented.
SLI usually issues acknowledgement receipts to their clients and shippers “especially if it involves dangerous cargo,” Florido added.
However, Florido maintained that their client did not receive the documents, which Macaisa claimed that they had submitted.
Macaisa added that the cargo van onto which the endosulfan was loaded was properly labeled with “uniform international codes for the transport of dangerous goods and is the reference for all ocean carriers for dangerous goods.”
CEVA Philippines and DMPI have been transacting with each other for more than 27 years and that this was the first time that they had encountered a problem like this, Macaisa said.

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