London, Friday July 1st 2016: In a significant breakthrough for the container shipping business, the two criteria currently used when inspecting containers during the interchange process between operators and leasing companies are now to be harmonised.

Until now, there have been two different interchange inspection standards: the “IICL-5” criteria (managed by the Institute of International Container Lessors); and the “Common Interchange Criteria”, administered by the CIC Group of leasing companies, comprising five of the world’s leading container lessors (Triton Container, Seaco, Florens Container Services, CAI and Blue Sky Intermodal) who represent over 50 percent of the world’s leased dry freight container fleet.

Launched in August 2007 as an alternative to the IICL-5 criteria – and endorsed the following year by the Container Owners Association – CIC has enabled shipping lines to benefit from a significant reduction in repair costs by eliminating unnecessary repair to containers. An additional advantage has been a more environmentally friendly approach to container maintenance, with reduced container handling.

The harmonisation process has been undertaken by the leasing industry, which has recognised that the container business – shipping lines, leasing companies and container depots – will benefit from a single standard. Discussions have taken place in recent months between CIC members and the IICL as to how the two different criteria might be harmonised.

Although there are some small adjustments to the most recent version of CIC (see Table below), the new standard preserves all the main benefits offered by CIC. It also offers more consistent and accurate equipment inspections and repair estimates, bringing efficiencies to all parties.

The harmonisation is taking place simultaneously with the introduction of the IICL 6th edition into the industry (“IICL-6”). Both, CIC and IICL members expect that the harmonised interchange standards will create a better path to more accurate estimates, less disputes and more trained professional inspectors.

The updated version of the CIC standard is scheduled to be introduced for off-hire activity taking place from August 1st, 2016 onwards.

A technical bulletin is available on the CIC website ( and also on the COA’s website ( For further information please contact Patrick Hicks at the COA Secretariat on or telephone +44(0)20 8390 0000.

CIC Standards Update

As a result of the harmonization of the two standards the following updates are made to the CIC standards as of 01 August 2016:

Roof panels Table – 5.5

· ROOF INTO- THE-CUBE DEFLECTION: 40mm (1-9/16 in ) downward bow measured from the inside lower surfaces of the top side rails to the inboard roof corrugation

· ROOF UPWARD DEFLECTION: 40mm (1-9/16 in ) upward bow measured from the inside top surfaces of the top side rails to the inside of a recessed roof corrugation

Rear and front headers – Table 5.1

· If more than 35 mm (1-3/8 in) deep, REPAIR

Flooring height difference – Table 5.6

· If difference is more than 5 mm (3/16 in), REPAIR

All other CIC standards remain as currently defined. Starting with the IICL – 6th edition, the CIC will follow all future updates and revisions adopted on the IICL inspection criteria.

This technical bulletin should be applied to all units gated-in as of August 1st, 2016.