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The discharge port arrival samples and the samples drawn during the discharge should all be correctly labelled and stored securely in a safe, fire protected compartment.
The samples must be organised in a way that permits easy identification of the containers for each voyage. Galvanised wire milk cases are good containers for consolidating voyage samples. They can be labelled with felt marker on wide masking tape for easy identification. At the end of one year, the sample bottles or cans may be emptied into the slop tank (on the ballast voyage), or sent ashore for proper disposal.
The owner must advise the vessel immediately upon receiving notice of a cargo claim. The master should then ensure that all samples associated with that voyage are removed from the regular sample storage area to an equally safe site which can be secured under lock. A detailed inventory of the samples should be prepared, with photo copies of logbook entries indicating when and how the samples were taken.
Owners will provide instructions for delivery of the samples. An independent petroleum inspection service should be engaged to arrange for proper packaging and shipment of the containers. A receipt must be obtained for all samples shipped.
A comprehensive set of samples is essential to defending the ship against cargo contamination claims. If the ship is able to document a thorough sampling programme and to present samples which show that the cargo was on-test when loaded, on arrival and during discharge, then it will be difficult for a claimant to demonstrate that the contamination was caused by the ship.

5.39.1 Cargo contamination
Cargo contamination can occur through bulkhead leaks, pipeline leaks, leaking isolation valves, or through mismanagement of the discharging operations.
Most cargo contaminations are a result of human error, usually the opening of a valve, or leaving a valve open, that should have remained closed. Good planning, instruction and labelling of the valves or valve controls will reduce the chance of this type of contamination occurring, but cannot eliminate it entirely.
The question is: What is to be done when a contamination is discovered? The most important action to take on discovering a contamination event is to stop the cargo transfer. Close all valves in the discharge systems for the cargo grades involved. Note the valves which are closed and the time. Immediately notify the chief officer, who will advise the master. The master will advise the owners an the local P&I correspondent.
Sample the cargo remaining in the tanks and request that it be tested to determine if the cargo still on board is on specification. The remaining cargo in the tanks should not be discharged until instructions have been received from owners/charterers and a revised discharge programme has been prepared and agreed with the terminal representative.
Never try to conceal or ignore a cargo handling error which may result in a cargo contamination. Concealment only increases the cost to the shipper, owner and eventually to the careers of all of the officers involved. Report the incident immediately, so that effective cost containment measures can be started.

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