News 19 May, 2014

Mexico - Iron Ore Cargoes

Club correspondents Pandi Nave S.A. De C.V., Mexico City have advised the Managers of a recent case involving a vessel carrying a shipment of iron ore which was detained by the Mexican Authorities.

A panamax bulk carrier loaded a cargo of iron ore at the port of Lazaro Cardenas destined for China. At the vessel’s subsequent port of call, Manzanillo, the vessel was detained by the Mexican Authorities as it was suspected the cargo was linked to a drugs cartel engaged in the illegal mining and export of iron ore. Previously the Mexican authorities have seized iron ore stockpiled for export. However, this is the first time that a vessel with suspected illegally mined cargo onboard has been held.

As part of the operation to combat the drug cartels and stem the flow of illegally mined ore, Mexican naval forces have recently taken control of the ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo. The port authority, administration and security functions are now overseen by naval personnel.

Members planning to carry cargoes of iron ore from Mexico, and in particular Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo, are advised to confirm the cargo is legitimate prior to fixing the vessel. In order to verify whether a particular shipment is permitted, the local agent and/or local P&I correspondent should be asked to:

  • Check that an export permit has been issued by the Mexican Ministry of Economy
  • Confirm that the shipper is registered in the “Sectorial Exports Census”
  • Ensure that the seller, be it the shipper, or the mining company where the shipper is not the company that extracted the ore, is listed in the Titles of Mining Concessions published by the Ministry of Economy, and is included in the Directory of Mining Sector Companies published by the Mexican Government.

Members requiring further assistance should contact the Loss Prevention department.