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Waste exporters 'face threat of theft and fraud'

Exporters are facing theft and fraud in the shipping process on top of fuel and container rate woes, a senior figure has warned.

Pottengal Mukundan, senior director of the International Maritime Bureau, told delegates at an international recycling conference: “Every document used in the shipping process can be forged with ease.”

Mukundan told the international trade council (ITC) at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) event in Rome that it was “rubbish” to believe shipping containers could not be broken into without breaking their seal.

He said exporters must maintain “robust due diligence” to avoid being preyed upon by criminals.

ITC chair Robert Voss of British scrap metal trader Voss International described stories of theft and fraud as “frightening”.

Meanwhile BIR’s textiles division heard that theft from containers had “increased substantially”. Olaf Rintsch of Textile Recycling K&A Wenkhaus told the conference that “legal measures to fight this have been insufficient to date”.

BIR’s ferrous division published its world steel recycling figures for 2007-2011. The figures showed British scrap steel exports rose 3.2% in 2011 to 5.4m tonnes.

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