What is fumigation?

Fumigation is an officially approved procedure for the destruction, removal or conversion of pests into infertile (FAO, 1990; revised FAO, 1995). This is a dangerous procedure that poses a serious risk to human health – fumigants are highly toxic compounds, and their excessive exposure to humans can lead to death. That is why fumigation should be performed only by a licensed fumigator.

During fumigation, toxic gas is introduced into the container at a sufficiently high concentration, so that all pests die. Such a method shall be used when pests in products cannot be achieved by conventional control methods.

What is a fumigant?

Fumigant – is a highly toxic chemical that turns into gas at the right temperature and humidity and becomes the cause of death for pests.

Fumigation of cereals or wood

Fumigation of cereals is aimed at controlling pest infestation can be used in two ways: prophylactic, when destruction is carried out in the usual way, usually shortly after landing at the place of storage, even if insects or ticks are not found under review; or tactically, fumigated at the first signs of contamination.

Wood fumigation is most often carried out on round and sawn wood. Although, according to the studies carried out, insects do not store in wood containing more than 12 percent of moisture and wood, which was dried at a high temperatures of 170-180 C, the delivery of wood into some countries without a certificate of fumigation will fail.

In most cases, second fumigation is not required if good hygiene and proper room sealing have been observed, since after proper completion of first fumigation procedures, fumigants are able to completely destroy all insects. If insects appear after fumigation, it is most likely that either fumigation was not performed properly or the amount of gas was not high enough. Fumigation works properly only if a sufficient concentration of gas can be maintained for an appropriate period of time.

Fumigation of cargo on board

This is the most effective way of destroying pests before the cargo leaves to a distant country of destination. Handysize, Supramax, Panamax or larger vessels are used for the transport of grain crops to distant countries on African, Asian or American continents. Cargo batches amount are from 20 to 70 thousand tons of grain and the transit time of such huge grain batches vary from 20 to 50 days. Therefore, it is necessary to properly fumigate cargo.

The fumigator work begins even before the start of loading process. When the hold inspection is taking place by the surveyor,piping is installed to deliver fumigants into the ship hold or holds. The entire installation procedure takes about an hour. After loading the cargo, the load is fumigated. The procedure also takes about an hour to complete and thereafter the fumigation certificate is issued.

Ventilation of fumigated cargo

After cargo fumigation in containers at the port of loading and after the fumigant has done its work, the container must be ventilated before being dispatched from the port of loading. Ventilation can be carried out only by a certified fumigator. And if containers are shipped from the port without ventilation – it is necessary to mark containers with special dangerous cargoes stickers. In this case, container lines may consider the cargo to be dangerous and the price of a sea freight may increase by the amount of the dangerous goods charge.

After the fumigation of the cargo on board and before unloading the cargo in the port of discharge ventilation of the cargo in the hold should be processed. This procedure can also be carried out only by a certified fumigator.

Use of fumigants

Currently, aluminum and magnesium phosphine are the only grain fumigants widely used for grain fumigation. However, sulfuryl fluoride and ethyl formate have become available in some countries of the world over the last 10 years. Previously, the popular fumigant methyl bromide is no longer used because after the Montreal protocol it is banned worldwide.

Suggested solutions

JSC ONZE offers cargo fumigation service for your cargo on board, marine container, wagon or cargo storage site. After the fumigation process, we ventilate the place of fumigation, vehicle or marine container. We’re going to issue a fumigation certificate, which will be also a confirmation that we’ve done the job perfectly.

We recommend you order cargo fumigation together with land transport,sea freight or stevedoring services. With full information about loading dates, departure and arrival times, we will be able to better arrange the entire logistics circuit by inserting the cargo fumigation into the process.

Contact us for fumigation or for advice.

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