MSC loses ‘low-risk’ carrier status after US drugs raid

As reported by Lloyd’s List, June 29, 2019 by Cichen Shen, ‘MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Co has had a key US customs designation suspended after drugs valued at $1bn were seized on one of its vessels at the Port of Philadelphia.

The US Attorney’s Office has described the 16.5 tonnes of cocaine found in seven containers on the 3,398 teu MSC Gayane asthe largest drug seizure in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

US customs authorities have now suspended MSC’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism certificate, which is granted to shipping lines deemed low risk. “CTPAT members are considered to be low risk and less likely to have cargo examined at a US port of entry,” said the Danish line, which is itself a CTPAT member.’

MSC has acknowledged the situation in a posting on their website on June 18, 2019. They have declared they are taking the matter ‘very seriously’ and are cooperating with authorities. Although it has not been confirmed by CBP, MSC advised customers to expect only minor disruptions in service such as possible additional inspections on traffic lanes from Central and South America to the United States.

If you have any questions how this may effect your cargo on this carrier, please contact your SEWW Sales Representative.