New Unified Container Inspection & Repair Criteria address contaminating pests


To help ensure the integrity and cleanliness of the international supply chain, the revised Unified Container Inspection & Repair Criteria (UCIRC) published by the ICS, BIC and WSC now includes inspection criteria for container depots and other container handover facilities to address pest contamination on and in containers.

The first edition of the Unified Container Inspection & Repair Criteria (UCIRC), designed for use at all container depots and container interchanges, was developed and published by ICS in 2000. The publication details the criteria to be considered in the context of inspection for physical damage or structural deformations of the sea container. Since then, the industry has developed and, maybe most importantly, contaminating pests hitchhiking in or on containers has increasingly become an issue of concern.

However, the previous editions of UCRIC did not address inspection for visible pest contamination on the container, resulting in the possibility that containers might be dispatched empty from container depots with hitchhiker pests.
To address this issue, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Bureau International des Containers (BIC) and World Shipping Council (WSC) teamed up to ensure the UCIRC was adjusted to meet today’s requirements. The revised UCIRC has been updated to make inspection for and removal of visible pest contamination an integral part of the container inspection and dispatch process. The document outlines special provisions to inspect for pest contamination at container depots as well as at all other interchange points.

Just as any major structural deficiencies must be repaired, any pest contaminants must be taken care of prior to the dispatch of the empty container to the shipper. The revised UCIRC make this clear and also expressly reference the recently updated Prevention of Pest Contamination of Containers: Joint Industry Guidelines for Cleaning of Containers by BIC, COA, IICL and WSC. The two publications in tandem demonstrate the commitment of the container shipping industry to play a proactive role in minimizing pest contamination via the sea container pathway.