C&G are very heavily involved in the agribusiness, particularly carriage of grains. All C&G surveyors are qualified as ‘grain surveyors’ as defined in the Australian Export Control act. There are strict requirements to attain this accreditation, and the ‘passing’ of a vessel to load bulk grains is not taken lightly.
Recent changes to the Export Control Act, Grains, Plants and Plant Products Orders 2005, lay down the criteria by which an individual may achieve accreditation to become a grain surveyor. Not only does the person have to have professional qualifications, but also has to have had a number of vessel inspection in the company of a grain surveyor, prior to becoming qualified, but also maintain a certain number of inspections to maintain such accreditation.
Any contamination from insects, minerals, rust, scale, loose paint, etc, as well as odours and vessel integrity can result in a vessel being deemed unsuitable for carriage of grain. C&G are also heavily involved in the unfortunate circumstance whereby a vessel has to be ‘cleaned’ often an expensive and labour intensive operation.
By good coordination of services, and planning of operations, a shipowner may save tens of thousands of dollars in time and labour costs.
It should be considered that should a vessel fail grain survey, then in nearly all situations a vessel will be placed “off-hire”
The costs that can now accrue to have the vessel cleaned include:
- Shifting costs – in many cases the vessel will be ordered off the berth
- Engagement of shore side labour
- Hire of mobile cranes, cherry pickers
- Berth hire
- Loss of earnings by being off hire
- Potential consequential costs
In this respect it is becoming more frequent for vessels to be inspected at a port other than loading port, on behalf of owners or disponent owners, so a vessel can be appraised prior to tending notice of readiness.