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Ship Inspection of empty cargo containers

Cargo containers as regulated articles present a pathway by which many pests can enter a country. Containers must not leave the wharf unless they have been inspected. This includes:

  • cargo containers that have goods with no quarantine risk that are to be delivered to commercial premises for unloading (destuffing);
  • cargo containers that have been unloaded (destuffed) at the port and are to be taken to commercial premises to be loaded with export goods;
  • empty containers that have been imported without cargo that are to be taken to commercial premises to be loaded with export goods; and
  • empty containers that have been unloaded at the port and await export as empty containers but which have transported goods that may present a risk of cross-infestation if not clean.
STEPS PROCEDURE FOR THE INSPECTION OF A SHIP’S EMPTY CARGO CONTAINERS
1 – 5 Refer to Basic Requirements
6 Inspect the external area of the container with special care to detect the following.

  • Insect infestations that might be in grain behind rusted metal. Remove the rust and insects and repaint.
  • Snails, in particular the giant African snail and its eggs. Snails could be found in the key eyes and on the lower metal supports of the container. This area should be inspected during unloading.

Soil, particularly on the lower metal supports and key eyes. Remove and dispose of it.

7 Inspect the internal area of the container with special care to detect the following.

  • Spilled grain – inspect for insect infestation. Bag, remove and treat.
  • Timber – particularly poor quality timber dunnage. Remove and destroy.
  • Soil – particularly from loading vehicles. Remove and dispose of it.

At this point containers can be released from quarantine. However, if they are to be used for the export of commodities, go to Step 8.

Collect specimens for identification.

8 For containers that are to be loaded with regulated articles (commodities) for export, determine the export requirements for the commodity and the type of certification required.
9 Issue certification once the container meets the phytosanitary requirements. Ensure that the container is loaded with the export cargo within any timeframe specified on the permit.
10 Complete the documentation.
See 1.1.2.4 for additional information on garbage.

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