International Code of Oenological Practices

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III.5.1 Inspection and certification

5.1.1 Ships' tanks

It is imperative that an independent surveyor is employed to check all aspects of the tanks, containers and ancillary equipment. This surveyor should be trained so that he/she has a full understanding of the Guide, the Supplier's and Purchaser's written requirements and the specific requirements of the wines being transported. In addition, it is strongly recommended that a member of the Supplier’s technical staff attends loadings to ensure that the surveyor is fully briefed and effective and check that the ship's crew is aware of the nature of the product being transported.

In accordance with the terms laid down in the charter party, it is the responsibility of the Ship's Master to provide (for the shipment and discharge of wine) tanks or containers, pumps, pipelines, hoses and any other ancillary fittings which are in good repair, of satisfactory cleanliness (see section 6.2) and free from any taint or defect which could adversely affect the quality or characteristics of the Purchaser's wine.

The Purchaser, his Accredited Agent or any independent surveyor (recognized as competent in the area of international transport of foodstuffs) appointed by the Purchaser (and acceptable to both the Purchaser and Ship's Owner) should carry out an examination of all tanks, containers and other equipment to be used. A certificate of inspection (see example in Appendix 1) should be completed and signed by the Ship's Master/Chief Officer.

The certificate of inspection should contain the following information:

  • The Plan of Loading
  • The nature of products carried on the previous voyage (or more if requested by the Purchaser (see 4.2)).
  • The nature of any additional cargoes being carried at the same time as the Purchaser's wines together with details of any discharges carried out prior to the Purchaser's destination.
  • Precise details of cleaning procedures used to remove residues of previous cargoes and subsequent sanitising procedures.
  • Suitability of tanks, pumps, hoses, etc., to receive the wine (i.e. freedom from damage or defect, cleaning completed satisfactorily, visual appearance acceptable, etc.).
  • Guarantee of perfect segregation of the cargo.
  • Additional information as required by individual Purchasers.

Any details regarding unacceptable standards in the tanks or equipment to be used should be recorded, together with the action taken by the Ship's Master/Chief Officer to rectify those standards.

The independent surveyor has the right to reject any individual tank or item of equipment which he/she considers to be in an unacceptable condition for loading the wine, giving his reasons in writing to the Ship's Master/Chief Officer, and to require the Ship's Master/Chief Officer to take the necessary steps to bring the tank or equipment up to the required standard.

Loading will not normally be permitted until the certificate of inspection has been completed and approved by the surveyor/accredited Agent. However, in the event of the majority of tanks and equipment being passed as acceptable, loading may commence into these tanks and equipment while action is being undertaken to bring the unacceptable tanks and equipment up to the required standards.

One copy of the completed certificate of inspection should be made available to each of the following:

  • Ship's Master
  • Surveyor
  • Purchaser's Agent (if different from the Surveyor)
  • Ship's Owners
  • Purchaser

Copies for the Ship's Owners and the Purchaser should be dispatched by airmail or fax to be available in advance of the ship's arrival at its destination. The Ship's Owner is required to notify the Purchaser of the previous cargoes carried in the ship, preferably 5 days in advance of the ship being presented for loading.

5.1.2 Other tanks, including flexible containers

The transport operator shall not be responsible for the provision or condition of any hoses, pumps, pipelines or other ancillary equipment used for the loading and/or discharge of the goods unless previously agreed with the Supplier or Purchaser.

Certificates of cleanliness should be issued after cleaning for each tank (see Appendix 2 for an example). Presentation of these certificates may be made directly to the loading bay, or by arrangement between the Freight Forwarder and the Purchaser.

Details may be notified by telex or fax and the original certificates retained on file.

Tankcontainers and roadtankers carrying alcoholic beverages classified under appropriate regulations as flammable liquids must be equipped and labeled to comply with the appropriate regulations. The consignor has a statutory duty to ensure that these regulations are complied with before dispatch of the transport unit.