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Marine Cargo

It is important to remember that the most crucial period in the marine claim process is often the first few moments after discovering the loss or damage.

If you discover a loss or damage before you sign any delivery document to acknowledge receipt of the goods, we recommend that you read through this list – it will take less than five minutes.

Immediate Action
Once a loss or damage is discovered, there are three things that you, as the insured or the claimant, must do without delay.

  1. MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO MINIMIZE THE LOSS AND/OR PREVENT FURTHER LOSS OR DAMAGE
    This is a requirement under the “Duty of Assured” clause of most Marine Cargo Policies. This could include, for example:
    (i) Separating damaged items from sound cargo;
    (ii) Unpacking and spreading out damp or wet items to help them dry;
    (iii) Re-bagging/repacking;
    (iv) Temporarily sealing leaking drums;
    (v) Re-cooperating or re-banding.

    Reasonable expenses incurred in taking such steps are reimbursable in addition to any claim payment for damage.
  2. NOTIFY ACE OR YOUR INSURANCE BROKER so that, a survey of the damage can be promptly arranged, if required. UNTIL SPECIFICALLY ADVISED BY ACE OR YOUR BROKER THAT A SURVEY WILL NOT BE NECESSARY, YOU SHOULD ASSUME THAT A DAMAGE SURVEY WILL BE CONDUCTED.

    Wherever practicable, the damaged cargo and all original packing materials should be retained in the condition received until after the survey, unless this will cause further damage.

    Once a survey is arranged, the carrier or his agent should be notified of the time and place of the survey so that they can be represented at a “joint survey” The carrier may often choose not to attend a joint survey; however, they must be given the opportunity to do so.

    Notification of a possible claim to ACE or your broker should NOT be withheld while you wait for a reply to your initial written claim to the carrier.
  3. CONTACT THE CUSTOMS AUTHORITY for a joint survey if you are likely to seek a reimbursement of import duty.

Applicable Documents

  1. The document issued showing the amount of insurance placed and coverage provided( for an export shipment, this can be the original Special Marine Policy or Certificate of Insurance).
  2. The original or non-negotiable copy of the primary transit document.

    a. For an ocean shipment, this will be a Bill of Landing
    b. For an air shipment, a Master Air Waybill (MAWB) and/or House Air Waybill (HAWB).
    c. For an inland transit, a Consignment Note.
  3. Acknowledgement of final delivery.

    a. Discharge/Wharf/Landing Receipts of Weight Notes are likely to represent the primary overseas document. b. A Consignment Note will normally be issued by the final inland carrier/ forwarder (in addition to the primary ocean transit document).
  4. Supplier’s commercial invoice.
  5. Packing list, weight certificates or other evidence of the nature and condition of the goods at the time of shipment.
  6. Pre-shipment survey report, if an independent surveyor was appointed to report on load/stow arrangements prior to transit.
  7. Copy of claim on carrier/freight forwarder and their reply (if available).

If you have any particular concerns regarding the physical aspects of cargo transportation, then we will do our best to help.

ACE also produces a number of useful, up-to-date publications on Marine Cargo Insurance,Cargo Handling and ACE Cargo Advantage.

Please ask your broker to contact us if you need any further support or advice on Risk Management.