08 Apr 2022

Transnet Port Terminals updated conditions of trade and operating procedures published

by Pauline Kumlehn, Partner, Cape Town,
Practice Area(s): Shipping & Logistics |

SAAFF has reported on Transnet Port Terminals (“TPT”) recently publishing its updated Standard Operating Procedures for Container Terminals effective for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.  Similarly, the parastatal posted its Conditions of Trade for Container Terminals for the same period in question.

Operators and users are accordingly reminded that these conditions, together with TPT’s relevant Tariff Book, as well as any particular operations contract which may have additionally been concluded should be carefully consulted to ensure that one is familiar with the time limits and limitation of liability provisions which are applicable.

The current conditions, similar to versions for recent years, provide for a period of 21 days from the date of an incident for a customer to place TPT on notice of a claim, failing which no liability will attach, and further 90 days from the date of the incident to submit such a claim fully supported with the relevant documentation.  Furthermore, commencement of formal legal proceedings must be brought within 420 days from the date of the event, failing which the claim will become time barred (prescribed).

A notable amendment to the current conditions can be found in TPT’s limitation provision, which provides for a limit of US$1,000,000 in respect of any one incident or series of incidents from the same cause. This is a substantially lower than the limit in previous iterations of their conditions (the limit for the period ending March 2021 for instance was set at US$5,000,000).

Having regard to incidences of loss or damage to containers and cargo which is an unfortunate reality of trade in our ports, users are urged to ensure that they are well versed with TPT’s relevant conditions and where possible have taken additional steps to insure their goods particularly those of high value. Similar scenarios play out in respect of other divisions of Transnet and those relevant trading conditions.

As the adage goes, forewarned is forearmed!