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Table of contents


For further details please refer to Gard News 153, Cargo sampling.

A. General

Cargo samples taken at load or discharge ports are important for
  • the safety of the vessel, i.e. to establish the properties of cargoes likely to shift
  • identifying vessel or cargo problems before and/or during loading and discharge, i.e. comparing shore with vessel figures and identifying any possible deterioration of the cargo or any malfunction of the vessel’s installations
  • the purpose of evidencing
    – the cargo’s condition at load or discharge port
    – bad or suspect outturn at the discharge port.

    B. Sampling procedures
    Sample taking should follow the Company’s written procedures. When taking samples, the following points should be noted
  • applicable industry guidelines and/or procedures should be followed<
  • safety precautions should be taken, which include – evaluation of the atmosphere in the tank or hold; please see section Entry into enclosed spaces
    – Personal Protective Equipment should be used – please see section Safe working clothes – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    – safe sampling equipment.

    C. Sampling equipment
    Sampling equipment
  • should be appropriate and be compatible with the cargo to be sampled, and
  • only thoroughly cleaned equipment should be used.

    D. Sufficient number and amounts
    Representative samples and sufficient sample amounts need to be taken
  • a number of samples taken at regular intervals and at different places within the cargo spaces or continually during loading/discharging liquid cargoes
  • more than one set of tests may be required.

    E. Labelling and sealing
  • must be properly labelled and sealed in the presence of the other interested parties
  • to be tested or retained, must be taken by ship’s personnel or their representatives in the presence of the other interested parties.

    F. Retention of samples
    Retention and storage of samples
  • careful consideration should be given to which samples should be retained and for how long
  • samples retained must be stored in a safe place where they cannot be tampered with
  • samples taken must be stored in a dark, well ventilated place away from heat and other sources likely to interfere with the sample.

    G. Sample logs – protests – no tampering
    A sample log should be kept recording which samples are stored where for the purposes of identifying samples at a later stage for testing or for safe disposal.

    Written protests should be lodged when the other interested parties refuse to attend joint sampling, labelling and sealing.

    A surveyor or analyst should be engaged when in doubt.

    Samples should never be tampered with to prevent jeopardising the reliability of the sample and allegations of fraud.

    Safety and environmental aspects should be fully considered when disposing of samples.

    If the Master is in doubt or difficulties arise during joint sampling operations between the vessel and the other party, the Master should request assistance from the local P&I correspondent.

    For sampling bulk liquid cargoes, please see section Cargo samples.