Silver nitrate testing for the presence of sodium chloride (salt) in cargo holds prior to loading is an important practice to prevent claims for damage to steel cargoes, reads an American P&I Club Member Alert
As part of the standard pre-load survey for transporting steel cargoes, vessel cargo hold tank tops, adjacent sides, and end plating, should be tested for the presence of salt by using a silver nitrate solution.
Silver nitrate testing
In most ports within the People’s Republic of China (PRC), direct access to vessels by Association approved surveyors has been restricted. However, as a result of the recent easing of the PRC’s “zero-COVID” policy restrictions, it is expected that there will be a similar easing of restrictions in ports in the coming months.
In the meantime, vessel crews are recommended to perform such tests where surveyors are not able to attend prior to loading of the steel cargo. This will allow the crew to determine if there are cargo hold locations that should be cleaned further or covered in tarpaulins to prevent contact between sodium chloride affected areas and the cargo.
Key points to consider
Members should consider:
- ensuring enough silver nitrate is available on board;
- establishing procedures to guide the crew as to which key locations in the cargo
holds that should be tested; and
- establishing guidelines for the crew to follow in the event of positive silver nitrate test
Managers recommend that Members take note of this information and be guided accordingly.
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Source: The American P&I Club