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Drivers fined for non-declaration
Originally published:  01/02/2009
A UK man has been penalised more than £7,000 for failing to declare he was carrying dangerous goods aboard a ferry. He admitted withholding information about his cargo, consisting of two drums of Cosmocil S propylene glycol dispersant, from the ferry operator, Norfolk Line, in order to save £100 by travelling on a tourist ticket rather than a freight ticket.
The incident took place on December 27, 2007 at the port of Dover. A spot check on the man's car uncovered the undeclared Class 9 dangerous goods. The driver, Stephen Deane, was in possession of the appropriate transport documents for dangerous goods but had not declared the hazard to Norfolk Line.
When the case came to court this past December, he was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £5,500.
"The regulations covering dangerous goods on ships exist for the safety of passengers and crew," commented Chris Boreham, surveyor-in-charge at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's Dover Marine Office.
"It is essential that the master and crew of ferries are aware of what dangerous goods their vessel is carrying so that the correct action is taken in the event of an emergency."
In a similar case, a Polish truck driver was fined £2,000 plus more than £3,750 costs by magistrates in Folkestone last month after being charged with contravening the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods & Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997.
He attempted to board a ferry from Dunkirk to Dover on November 20, 2008, but the ferry operator denied him permission after finding that his load, which included 383 kg of methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer, was missing the correct documentation. He then drove to Calais and boarded a Sea France ferry without declaring the goods. The operator of the first ferry alerted Sea France and the police and he was arrested on arrival at Dover.