Statutory alert: Amendments (04-17) to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code.
12 December 2017
Applicability: All shipowners and operators involved in the carriage of solid bulk cargoes
Amendments (04-17) to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code will enter into force on 1 January 2019 and may be implemented voluntarily from 1 January 2018.
The amendments introduce new individual schedules with specific carriage requirements for the following Group B cargoes (cargoes that possess a chemical hazard that could give rise to a dangerous situation on a ship):
- Sugarcane biomass pellets
- Sand, mineral concentrate, radioactive material and low specific activity (LSA-I) UN 2912
- Monocalcium phosphate (MCP)
- Monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and mineral-enriched coating (note: this is an existing individual schedule, updated with Group B properties)
What should owners and operators do now?
Shipowners or operators can request certification from LR including the new cargoes after the voluntary application date.
Other changes to the IMSBC Code
Other changes to the IMSBC Code include the following:
- The clarification of the time requirements for the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) determination test and the sampling and testing for moisture content before loading Group A cargoes (cargoes that are liable to liquefy), as well as clear reference to shippers’ responsibility for the aforementioned actions.
- A new, modified Proctor/Fagerberg test procedure to be used for determining the TML of coal up to 50mm in size and relevant amendments to the individual schedule of coal.
In addition, in accordance with the criteria found in MARPOL Annex V, as amended by Res. MEPC.277(70), it will now be mandatory for shippers to declare whether a solid bulk cargo is classified as:
- HME (harmful to the marine environment), in which case the relevant overboard discharge restrictions will apply; or
For more details on the amendments and a full list of the new cargoes added to the IMSBC Code, please see IMO Resolution MSC.426(98).
For further information
Guidance on carrying solid bulk cargoes safely
LR, the UK P&I Club and Intercargo have produced a pocket guide for ship officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading.
This outlines the precautions to be taken before accepting solid bulk cargoes for shipment; sets out procedures for safe loading and carriage; details the primary hazards associated with different types of cargo; and underlines the importance of proper cargo declarations. A quick reference checklist and flowchart summarise the steps to be followed.
A PDF of both the pocket guide and flowchart can be downloaded here.