Sri Lanka exporters urged to focus on food safety, product liability issues

Feb 11, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan exporters should secure their shipments not only because of security but because product liability and food safety are growing concerns in western markets, a container security expert says. New global container security initiatives, which emerged as a response to terrorist threats, are now not only limited to security, according to Stefaan Vermeire, Director General of the International Container Security Organization based in Brussels.

The ICSO, which provides a container status and tracking service that helps exporters to ensure traceability of their goods, is like the Swift bank transactions service that enables cheap, fast and reliable banking.

New global maritime security codes help businesses like exporters to better ensure the safety of their cargo, prevent tampering and pilferage as well as provide traceability.

While present security measures cover factories and port container terminals, exporters and port authorities are usually unaware of what happens to containers in transit, either on the high seas or overland, Vermeire said at a seminar last week to discuss Colombo port’s future.

It was organised by the Company of Master Mariners, an organisation of shipping