TT Talk - Can you trust Safety Data Sheets?
Abuse of Safety Data Sheets for cargo bookings is uncomfortably frequent. A recent TT Club claim relating to a fire onboard a ship highlighted a number of issues.Take utmost care with what is presented and be proactive in warning customers of their legal obligations – and potential penalties.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that abuse of Safety Data Sheets (SDS or formerly Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)) in relation to cargo bookings is a regular occurrence. As one senior shipping executive said, when he had been confronted with multiple false SDS, 'It feels as if we are surrounded by criminals'.
Differing format standards globally, and the ease of creating apparently viable SDS, combine to make effective cargo screening difficult.
TT Talk - Edition 173 (Chinese) (204 KB)
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Using the appropriate modal regulations or convention, the shipper/consignor is responsible for correctly classifying any item that is to be transported. In many instances, reliance has to be placed on the manufacturer to provide reliable data so that the carrier is adequately alerted and may respond appropriately in an emergency.