Barbados Port Inc. is moving to mitigate against the negative impacts of aged cargo remaining in Port through the sale of unclaimed items by auction.

Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Jean-Marie, explained “Cargo remaining in Port for extended periods contributes to congestion and limits the physical space available for new, incoming cargo. From a health and safety perspective, aged cargo attracts vermin. Health authorities are constantly reviewing and providing direction on the need to manage potential infestation and its resultant negative impacts on other cargo in Port, as well as the health and safety of personnel.”

Though aged cargo is classified as that remaining in Port for more than 30 days, the cargo being offered for sale by auction is that which remains unclaimed, having arrived at the Port of Bridgetown between the period February 2015 to December 2021. Some 97% of the cargo listed is categorized as commercial cargo and just 3% personal effects cargo.

The CEO stressed that “the sale of goods by auction is an action of last resort.”

Consignees are given ample opportunity to clear and remove cargo from the Port, with the first contact initiated with those whose cargo remains three months after it has landed. Subsequent communications are aimed at encouraging consignees to collect their cargo, all of which is stored in secured areas under surveillance.

The aged cargo list is reviewed by the Customs and Excise Department to ensure they have no direct legitimate interest in the goods prior to their being listed for sale. And prior to publication of the list, formal notification is issued to the consignee via registered mail, allowing the consignee the option of clearing and collecting their assigned cargo within 14 days from the date on the written notice.

Importers and consignees are reminded that they have a responsibility to submit appropriate documentation, obtain the delivery order from the agent or from the freight forwarder, obtain release documents from Customs and other regulatory agencies, settle their financial obligations to the Port and take delivery of the cargo. This process is conveniently facilitated electronically.

Customers are encouraged to contact the Port on how to get their cargo cleared if they are experiencing challenges.

The sale of unclaimed, aged cargo will continue at a new date to be announced.

BPI extends apologies to those patrons who experienced some challenges during the October 26, 2022 sale and has reviewed its processes for future auctions to eliminate a recurrence.