What is the significance of a CSC Survey?

CSC Survey

If a shipping container is going to be used for overseas shipping it must have a valid and up to date CSC plate. In order to obtain a CSC plate the container must be inspected by a licensed inspector. Most inspections, known as surveys, are valid for 12 – 18 months depending on the discrepancy of the inspector. Surveys ensure that the condition of the container is cargo-worthy and able to ensure the safe and secure overseas transport of goods. How to decide if your container will require a CSC survey will depend on several factors and how to obtain one will be discussed in this article.

Do I need a CSC Survey for my shipping container?

If you are planning to use your container to ship overseas then you must obtain a CSC Survey. To ship a container overseas you undoubtedly will obtain the services of a Freight Forwarding company. A freight forwarder will help facilitate the voyage for you. It is the responsibility of the container owner to ensure it is certified as Cargo-Worthy. If you decide to rent a container from the freight forwarder you need not worry about obtaining a CSC survey, as these containers are owned by a third party who ensures they are certified. However, if you own the container you are using to ship overseas, then it is your responsibility to get it inspected and obtain a survey. The freight forwarder will require you to provide a full inspection report as well as proof of an updated CSC plate before they ship your container. For questions regarding CSC certificates, contact us at (888) 405-8772 email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

How do I get a CSC Survey for my shipping container?

You can obtain a CSC Survey when you purchase your container. It is important to shop with an established and experienced container company who can help facilitate the survey process for you. While shopping for a container inform the sales agent up front of your plans to ship it overseas and your timing. With this information the sales agent will ensure that you get a cargo-worthy container and can schedule an inspection for the container in a timely manner. The inspection is an additional cost and is typically $200 – $300 dollars. The inspection is conducted by an independent and certified inspector. Inspections typically take one to two weeks to schedule depending on the inspector’s schedule and the access to the container. For questions regarding CSC certificates, contact us at 888-667-4834 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

CSC Survey Inspection

How long does it take to get a CSC survey for my shipping container?

Timing is crucial when obtaining a CSC Survey for your shipping container. It is difficult and costly to schedule an inspection for your container once it is no longer at the depot. The inspector will inspect the container from every angle. This includes the roof and bottom of the container which means the container must be lifted to allow the inspector to inspect underneath it and container depots have the space and equipment to facilitate this process. The inspection typically takes about 1-2 weeks to conduct and complete. If the inspector finds the container needs some repairs before he can deem it cargo-worthy, this may extend the timing. Once the container is off the depot it is difficult for the inspector to complete a thorough inspection. For this reason it is important to be mindful of your shipping schedule as the survey reports expire in 12 – 18 months. For questions regarding the timing of CSC certificates, contact us at (888) 405-8772 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

How do I know if my container is CSC certified and what does the certification include?

Once your container has been certified it will have an updated CSC plate and a certificate proving that your container is cargo-worthy and ready to ship overseas. The inspector will provide you with the necessary documents as well as pictures of the container that you can provide to your freight forwarder as proof of the certification. Not all inspectors will automatically include pictures of the CSC plate in their report, so it’s important that you specifically request them. For questions regarding CSC certificates, contact us at (888) 405-8772 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

Who should I contact if I need to ship a container overseas?

If you are planning to ship your own container overseas then you must first purchase the container and obtain a CSC Survey to ensure it is cargo-worthy and ready to ship. For this you will need to purchase a cargo-worthy container from a reputable and experienced container company such as Onsite Storage Solutions, who can ensure your container is cargo-worthy and can schedule the inspection for you. You can contact us at (888) 405-8772 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com. Next you will need to acquire the services of a Freight Forwarder who will schedule the overseas shipping voyage for you. For a referral to a reputable Freight Forwarder in your area you can contact us at (888) 405-8772 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

What is a CSC Survey and why is it necessary?

You’ve undoubtedly seen ships with the SAFETY FIRST message on them while they’re docked at a port. When we talk about safety, one of the most crucial things to consider is the cargo transporting unit’s (CTU) safety aspect. The CSC Survey ensures safety standards are met which safeguard the shipyard employees as well as your goods.


In 1972, a Convention for container safety was developed at a conference organized by the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization. This was the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), which has two key objectives:

  1. To assure the safety of people in the transportation and handling of containers.
  2. To facilitate the global shipment of containers by setting uniform worldwide safety standards.

The CSC is a treaty that establishes a common language for the circulation of public sector tenders in order to facilitate international cooperation. Contracting Parties and their Administrations are known as such when they have agreed to be bound by the CSC. Testing, inspection, and approval are normally handled by authorized bodies like the Classification Societies.

Container movement in international commerce is unrestricted by customs authorities. Approvals are accepted by all other Contracting Parties, which means that once authorized, containers can move freely in international transportation with the minimum security measures.

How to Ensure the Safe Arrival of the Shipping Container

Testing and inspection can guarantee the safety of the shipping container. According to CSC regulations, containers must be tested, observed, and authorized by competent bodies such as Classification Societies on a regular basis to guarantee that they meet the necessary safety control standards for international transport.

It is usually the job of the container’s owners, especially shipping lines or container leases, to make sure that they are kept in good condition. Practically speaking, such maintenance may be done by the container’s operator/user, which could be a shipping firm or NVOCCs.

The seal of approval, inspection, and confirmation of the container is inscribed on a safety approval plate known as the CSC plate, which must be attached to each shipping container that is sent internationally as a necessary condition imposed by the CSC.

On the left door of the container, you may see the CSC plate in this photo.

Shipping Container CSC Plate

According to the BIC standards, “The words CSC SAFETY APPROVAL, of a minimum letter height of 8 mm, and all other words and numbers of a minimum height of 5 mm shall be stamped into, embossed on or indicated on the surface of the plate in any other permanent and legible manner.

All characters shall be of proportionate width and thickness, they shall be durable and in a color contrasting with that of the container.

The CSC plate should also display the maximum weight-carrying capacity (often known as “Payload” or “max net mass”) in both kilograms and pounds, as well as the stacking and racking test load value, as seen in an example below.

CSC Plate

Having a survey report on file for both the buyer and the steamer ensures that the condition of the cargo container and its criteria are never jeopardized. Survey reports are normally valid for approximately 6 to 18 months, depending on the condition of the container and at the discretion of the surveyor.

Why is it important to meet container safety requirements?

An ISO container is only valid as long as the container is in good working order! An owner must react swiftly if his or her container becomes damaged or no longer safe to use during servicing. If your container causes damage or harm, it is the responsibility of the owner to show that every measure was taken to prevent such damage. Before and after a shipment.

On-Site Storage Solutions offers both containers and container surveys. You may rent or buy them; in fact, you may even have a container survey done to ensure that you have the correct shipping container for a low price. Do you want to learn more about leasing, buying, or selling containers? And do you wish to schedule surveys? Contact us at (888) 405-8772 or email us at info@onsitestorage.com.

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