Steel PreShipment Surveys: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition)

Published Date

August 2019

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Steel PreShipment Surveys: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition)

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This illustrated guide is designed to help surveyors and Masters ensure that shipping documents accurately describe the apparent order and condition of steel cargo when loaded. It recommends a set of 18 standard surface condition clauses and 16 mechanical damage clauses.

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This publication provides detailed guidance on the inspection of weather deck openings. The second edition has a revised layout and minor updates, but the core clauses remain the same. Imagery has been included to illustrate practical application of clauses. The book also includes checklists that show the extent of information to be provided in survey reports.

Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 The need for pre-shipment surveys
1.2 Problems with implementation
1.3 The purpose of this guide


Chapter 2 Appointing a Surveyor
2.1 Allowing sufficient time
2.2 Give clear terms of reference


Chapter 3 Describing Surface Condition of Steel Cargo
3.1 Surface condition clauses
3.2 Examples of applying surface condition clauses


Chapter 4 Describing Mechanical Damage to Steel Cargo
4.1 Mechanical damage clauses
4.2 Examples of applying mechanical damage clauses


Chapter 5 Inspecting Weather Deck Openings
5.1 Allow time for proper repairs
5.2 Check all components of all openings
5.3 Carry out weathertightness tests

Most steel products rust and bend easily, particularly when carried at sea. Shipowners and operators – and ultimately their P&l insurers – are therefore usually first in the firing line when bent and rusty steel arrives at its destination.


As a result, shipowners, carriers, operators and P&l Clubs now regularly commission independent pre-shipment surveys of steel cargoes to ensure that bills of lading and/or mates’ receipts accurately describe the apparent order and condition of the cargo when it was taken on board the ship. As a further precaution against rust claims, surveyors are now asked to look at the weathertightness and ventilation of the holds in which steel cargo is carried.


The primary objective in producing this guide is to ensure correct and consistent usage of the P&I Club clauses, therefore enfranchising them with the status of an international standard method for describing steel cargoes.


Guidance is also provided on the conduct of weather deck opening surveys, which should form an integral part of every prudent pre-shipment survey. This includes details of the items that should be checked and a review of the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of weathertightness test.


Checklists are included in Appendices 1 and 2 to show the extent of information that should be provided in reports. This is as much to foster a consistent and professional approach among the international surveying community – which is increasingly exposed to negligence claims – as it is to eliminate misunderstandings between the world’s ports with regard to the clausing of shipping documents.

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Title: Steel PreShipment Surveys: A Guide to Good Practice (Second Edition)
Edition: Second
Number of Pages: 33
Product Code: WS1717K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-0-9558257-3-6 (9780955825736), ISBN 10: 0-9558257-3-3 (0955825733)
Published Date: August 2019
Weight: 0.60 kg
Author: The North of England P&I Association Ltd

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