CTI recently did a presentation on how asbestos is still found in new ships , In order to defend these claims, which are likely to continue to be made for at least 20 years, ship owners should at this stage, before documents become lost or people die, obtain and preserve the following evidence:
– A credible Asbestos-free certificate for their ships;
– Ship specifications to demonstrate that asbestos lagging was not used or that it was removed and replaced in a particular refit;
Ship owners should prepare an asbestos file for each of their ships containing this information, so if a claim is made in 20 years’ time, when normally all of the documentation would have been destroyed and people with the relevant knowledge would have left the company, this file will enable claims to be successfully defended. This will obviously have an effect on your claims records and premium. The most interesting part of the seminar is that CTI have shown that it is well documented, with Marine Authorities such as AMSA and the Netherlands, that the ship yard declarations that a ship is asbestos free can not be relied on, as over 80% of new ships are found to contain asbestos. Therefore existing certificates on ships post July 2002 cannot be relied on and the only way a ship can be credibly declared asbestos free is by having an independent survey carried out by an approved marine asbestos survey company.