Following the Yantian Express fire incident that Hapag-Lloyd experienced in early 2019, the company has published a statement to say that they will implement a penalty of USD 15,000.00 per container with effect from 15 September 2019.
Specifically, the company highlights that failure to properly declare hazardous cargoes prior to shipment is a violation of the Hazardous Material Regulations. Such violations may be subject to monetary fines and/or criminal prosecution under applicable law.
Hapag-Lloyd has also noted that to ensure the safety of our crew, ships and other cargo onboard, the company holds the Shipper liable and responsible for all costs and consequences related to violations, fines, damages, incidents, claims and corrective measures resulting from cases of undeclared or misdeclared cargoes.
The Yantian Express experienced an initial fire break out in one container on its deck. Following the fire incident, the vessel arrived at Freeport, Bahamas on 4 February. In total it is estimated that the vessel lost 198 containers.
Overall, the lost containers have a severe impact on the marine environment, as many of these end up on the sea bed, causing a great impact on the marine environment and the species that live in the sea. To reduce container losses, a number of initiatives are underway. The SOLAS Convention requires container weight verification as a condition for vessel loading, while the IMO has issued guidelines on this requirement too.