Keeping pests out of international trade

30 July 2021

The international freight transport organisations which make up the Cargo Integrity Group (CIG) are calling for urgent action from actors in global supply chains to reduce the risk of pest transference through international cargo movements.

The Container Owners Association, Global Shippers Forum, ICHCA International, insurers TT Club and the World Shipping Council (WSC) have highlighted the vital importance of focusing on the threat of invasive pests to natural resources across the world.

This call for action follows the decision by pest control experts under the auspices of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to take all-encompassing, internationally imposed steps to mitigate such risks.

One measure under serious consideration is the mandatory certification of cleanliness for all containers prior to loading on board a ship, a measure that would have significant impact on global trade when it comes to both time and cost.

WSC Senior Vice President, Lars Kjaer, said: “We know that more serious risks occur among certain types of goods and from identified regions. The CIG recommendation centres on the need to provide proper risk assessments in defined trades and focus mandatory measures on these high-risk areas and cargoes”.

Committed to ensuring that international trade is conducted in a safe, secure and environmentally sustainable manner, the members of CIG rigorously promote the use of the Code of Practice for the Packing of Cargo Transport Units, published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) (the CTU Code).

James Hookham, Secretary General of the Global Shippers Forum, said: “There are identified risk areas and cargoes which must be addressed, and the CIG partners look forward to contributing essential industry expertise to the work of the IPPC to ensure an effective and efficient set of recommendations and best practices to stop the transfer of invasive species”.