When trading commodities, different interests need to be met concerning phytosanitary regulations, contractual pest control terms, shipping times and safety.

To best meet these requirements, in-transit fumigation is often the only workable solution. Overlapping transportation and fumigation can deliver substantial time-savings.

The safety of fumigation operatives, a vessel’s crew and operators at the receiver’s end is paramount and requires strict adherence to relevant regulations (local and international) and operating procedures. Employing our Safety and Ventilation Instructions, which are fully compliant with the relevant IMO regulations, together with the issue of adequate safety materials (respiratory protection and detection equipment), ensures this happens.

Phosphine generating formulations (aluminium- or magnesium-phosphide) are the fumigant of choice, either probed into a cargo, or applied on its surface in retrievable formulations (sleeves, blanket). The chosen fumigation method will depend on technical and financial factors, as well as any restrictions at the cargo destination regarding gas-free measurement or fumigation residues.

Optimal distribution of fumigant throughout a cargo can be achieved with the installation of a recirculation system to the hold(s) prior to loading. A recirculation system, together with execution by SGS, is a pre-requisite for the issue of a fumigation guarantee (free of living insects).

Depending on the destination, the ventilation and removal of fumigation residues from the hold(s) may be required to avoid demurrage costs derived from difficulty in achieving gas-free status.

SGS provides a worldwide network that makes it possible to undertake all operations with our own skilled personnel, including:

  • Recirculation arrangements
  • Fumigation
  • Ventilation
  • Residue removal
  • Gas-free measurement

There are many factors beyond SGS’s control during sailing that could influence the outcome of fumigation:

  • Ventilation date
  • Leakage due to rough seas
  • Resistant strains of insect(s)

As a result, it must be stressed that a fumigation certificate for in-transit fumigation demonstrates the work carried out, but is not a guarantee of the outcome.

Alberto Cuadrado
Fumigation Engineer