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As the impending July 1 deadline for the advent of the new Verified Gross Mass (i.e. container weighing) approaches, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has given some comfort to shippers.
David Anderson of AMSA, head of section - cargoes and technical, addressed delegates to the national convention of the Australian Federation of International Forwarders.
He pointed out that under the new Marine Order 42, a shipper's failure to accurately declare the Verified Gross Mass of a container is a strict liability offence and that breach of it can attract a fine of 50 penalty units. Under the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914 (s4AA), a penalty unit is currently worth $180 so 50 penalty units are worth $9,000k.
However, Mr Anderson then pointed out that AMSA prefers not to ladle fines out to industry but instead prefers an "educative" approach.
"AMSA is able to apply penalty units to a wide range of strict liability offences. We have lots of penalties [available to us] in this way. We can walk around pinging for lots of offence. But that is not our preference. We prefer to educated. They are notices and infringement schemes. So [penalising] is not our preferred approach," he said.
But, he added, "sure, it's there if there are repeated offences by the shipper."
Keeping you updated,
Aaron PooleBack to News Page