Superintendence Activities

The inspection activities carried out by COTECK Commercial Inspection are numerous and varied. All inspection activities are however undertaken under strict compliance to the methodology recommended by the International Federation of Inspection Agencies, London (IFIA) to which COTECNA S.A belongs.

Below is the list of the most common ones:

Superintendence at loading and discharge

This activity includes the supervision of the loading or discharging of goods from a ship to verify whether the goods have been properly loaded or discharged with regards to the contractual quantity and quality.

Weight Verification

In such cases COTECK checks the weighing equipment before the actual operation to ensure their accuracy; then supervises the weighing of the goods (usually performed by another party such as silo operator) and records the correct figures.


This operation is carried out either during a loading and/or discharge operation or at the time of the delivery of the merchandise/consignment. Sampling must be done skillfully to ensure that the results represent as closely as possible the characteristics of the contractual merchandise. Samples must be drawn in the manner stipulated in the sales contract (i.e. with respect to number, weight, method, preparation and disposal of the sample) in order to be legally valid.

The purpose of sampling (followed by the testing or the analysis of the samples) is to determine if the goods meet the contractual specifications (i.e. moisture maximum, protein maximum, free from foreign matter, etc.). Failure of the cargo to meet these requirements usually results in a re-negotiation of price, arbitration, or an insurance claim. These allowances are usually made on the basis of the samples.
In some cases, Coteck may be asked to draw sample from stockpiles or silos in order to obtain a rough idea on the standards of the goods prior to shipment known as “informative sampling”.

Quality inspection

Depending on the circumstance and the merchandise this operation may take place in production or processing plants, inland warehouses silos, wharves, port warehouse, sampling rooms or laboratories. This inspection may cover the condition of merchandise as well as the quality specification and the intervention will normally be based on samples drawn by COTECK inspectors. A typical example of this type of intervention would be a case where an immediate decision on the quality of a shipment of good has to be made concurrently with the loading operations of a ship. Here the inspectors must have their sampling tools with them to determine the standards of the goods on site (such as moisture meters, precision balances and sieves, etc.).

Quality analysis

This is the laboratory testing of the samples taken by the field inspectors. The type of analysis performed is dependent on the specification of the sales contract and the type of commodity being analyzed. Chemical analyses are performed at our laboratory or other internationally recognized laboratories.

Cleanliness inspections of vessel’s holds / tanks

This is carried out prior to the loading of a vessel. Holds that are to carry agricultural products must be dry, clean from foreign matter, and free from objectionable odors, so as to reduce the risk of contamination, infestation of pests and the general placing of the cargo out of condition. For example, if the holds of a ship are set to carry wheat and there are still sweepings of the previous cargo of coal in the holds, then the COTECK inspector would forbid the commencement of loading until the ship had been properly cleaned out

Inspection of Storage Places

This case is similar to that outlined in the cleanliness of vessel’s holds section except that it takes place in on-shore facilities such as warehouses and silos.


This is the verification of existing stocks in a facility from a qualitative or quantitative point of view.

Draft (Draught) Surveying

This is a specialized procedure that involves the determination of the weight of a cargo by measuring the difference between the displacement in the water of the ship/vessel when full and that when it is empty (having taken into account the effects of ballast water, fresh/drinking water, fuel oil, diesel oil, and other weights on board the vessel). This survey is performed only for bulk delivered cargoes.

Damage Survey

Damage survey is the visual inspection of goods at the point of offloading (in and out of the Ports) or storage places, backed by photographs, with a view to ascertaining the condition of the goods at discharge to ascertain fair market value of the goods. This may be backed by sampling for analysis to facilitate general quantity and quality investigations including condition of packaging, all aimed at redressing discrepancies between what was supplied or shipped and what was received usually required for insurance purposes.

Collateral Management.

This is aimed at assisting financial institutions to develop their commodity trade finance operations in the Nigerian market. This is done by securing pledged cargo in safe locations over which Coteck Commercial Inspection Limited assumes legal and physical control holding the stocks on behalf of the lender (in this case, the bank). The scope of work here is as follows:
  • Receipt of the goods into Coteck-controlled warehouse;
  • Tally and determination of quantity (in and out);
  • Taking the goods under Coteck custody;
  • Issuing warehouse receipts in favour of the lender;
  • Performance of regular stock audits;
  • Receipt and authentication of release instructions from the lender;
  • Authorizing and supervision of delivery ex – warehouse and;
  • Reporting.
    • Coteck covers the goods for the duration of the storage with its Cargo “all risks” insurance policy with the bank as co-insured and loss payee.

      Pre-shipment Inspection of Exports

      Coteck performs pre-shipment inspection of exports by supervising the container stuffing and loading on board a ship to verify whether the goods have been properly loaded in accordance with the contract specifications.