Requesting and Submitting a Dump Certificate
Written with contributions by Jaime Bustamante, Trading Assistance Manager, DRC
Jun 3, 2019 | Jeff Honey
You received a shipment of fresh produce, but it is in poor condition. How should you handle the situation to ensure clarity and trust for all parties involved?
The first order of business is to request an inspection to show the current state of the load’s condition on arrival. You must request the inspection within 8 business hours of receiving it, excluding Sundays and holidays. If you are rejecting the load, you are also responsible to forward that certificate of inspection to the shipper within three hours of receiving an oral or written report of the result of the inspection. If you are not rejecting the load, you must forward a copy of the inspection report within 24 hours. If a decision is made to claim damages and after a few days or a couple of weeks of handling the load and you are about to dump more than five percent of the lot, there is a step that must be taken prior to dumping the product.
The Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC) states in Section 9 of the DRC Trading Standards that “Reasonable cause for destroying or disposing of any produce exists when the commodity has no commercial value or when it is discarded by order of a local health officer or other authorized official or when the shipper has specifically consented to such disposition. The term “commercial value” means any value that a commodity may have for any purpose that can be ascertained by the exercise of due diligence without unreasonable expense or loss of time.”
“When produce is being handled for or on behalf of another person, proof as to the quantities of produce destroyed or discarded in excess of five percent of the shipment shall be provided by procuring an official certificate regarding the actual disposition of the discarded produce from: 1. Any person recognized by the Corporation to officially inspect fruits and vegetables; and, where such inspection service is not available, certification may be obtained from:
2. Any certified health officer or food inspector;
3. Any person making inspections for the fruit and vegetable industry; that is mutually agreed to by the shipper and the receiver; or
4. When neither 1, 2 or 3 are available consideration will be given to other evidence such as inspection and certification made by any two persons having no financial interest in the produce involved or in the business of any person financially interested therein, and who are unrelated by blood or marriage to any such financially interested person, and who, at the time of the inspection and certification, and for a period of at least one year immediately prior thereto, have been engaged in the handling of the same general kind or class of produce with respect to which the inspections and certification are to be made. Any certificate issued by any persons designated in paragraph 4 of this section shall include a statement that each of them possesses the requisite qualifications.” “Certificates issued regarding the actual disposition of the discarded produce are not proof the product has no commercial value. Unless the seller has agreed to the disposition, these certificates need to be accompanied by a full condition inspection pursuant to the Corporation’s Good Inspection Guidelines to provide evidence that the product has no commercial value.”
Before you dump what has been handled, you should request another condition inspection to show that the product about to be dumped has no commercial value, unless the shipper has stated in writing that it is not required. This second inspection, if taken, should be submitted to the shipper with the dump certificate.
Obtaining the second condition inspection on the handled product along with a dump certificate will account for all of the product received in the shipment and show without a doubt what was officially disposed of and witnessed by an independent third party. This ensures clarity and avoids unnecessary disputes.