World Shipping Council has released an informative video on how containers can facilitate the start and spread of pests to communities around the world, risking agriculture, forestry & natural resources.
The cargo transported in the ship’s hold or in containers can transfer invasive species. Winged insects such as the Flighted Spongy Moth and the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug are seasonal threats, and national regulations mandate treatment by shippers and inspection regimes to prevent their transfer. Being at the frontline of this issue, the industry is also very active, working with shippers, packers and freight forwarders in establishing and sharing best practice when it comes to prevention, inspection, cleaning and treatment of goods and containers.
The IMO/ILO/UNECE have issued a Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units – better known as the CTU Code. In addition, the container industry (WSC, COA, ICHCA and IICL, with support from ICS and BIMCO) has developed joint industry guidelines for the cleaning of containers, to minimize the movement of pests by sea containers and their cargoes.
As shipping transports goods from one continent to another, protecting against the transfer of invasive species via ballast water or hull fouling is another important part of operations.
Hull fouling may transfer aquatic species, and it also creates drag which increases fuel consumption and hence emissions and cost for the carrier. For all these reasons, large commercial carriers invest in effective hull coatings, monitoring vessels closely to make sure they are cleaned or re-painted when needed.
The World Shipping Council has been actively involved in the development of IMO and national regulations for managing ballast water discharges and system approval criteria to ensure effective technologies for eliminating invasive species.
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