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It is commonly known that numerous incidents of container security failure are detected on a daily basis for which nobody is held legally liable. This state of affairs is essentially due to the shippers providing erroneous information, either inadvertently or by design. However, none of the stakeholders such as the carrier, the port operator, the inland transporter or the dry port operator are saddled with the legal responsibility of verifying the correctness of the information provided by the shippers or moving against them legally for misrepresentation of facts.
This paper discusses the issue of container security from a legal perspective with a specific focus on the liability for security failure. While discussing the reasons for non-development of a globally standardized legal regime for container security, this paper also endeavors to suggest possible solutions for the abysmal state of affairs.
This state of affairs persists despite the shipper being saddled with the additional responsibility of providing documentary evidence of verified gross mass of the cargo stuffed in the container by International Maritime Organization.
There is apparently no visible legal action that appears to have been taken against the culprit responsible for the security failure. Thus, the loopholes in the existing legal regime are exploited by all concerned for commercial reasons.