Applicability: All shipowners, operators and shippers involved in transporting packaged dangerous goods.

Amendment 39-18 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code will enter into force on 1 January 2020, with voluntary application from 1 January 2019, and includes many technical and editorial changes to the Code’s operational requirements.

The IMDG Code comprises operational requirements relating to packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling, and emergency response action, aimed at shippers and ship operators. The amendments to the Code will therefore not affect the dangerous goods certification issued by Lloyd’s Register, which is related to the requirements for ships’ safety equipment and fire protection contained in SOLAS regulation II-2/19.

The amendments to the Code include:

Part 1: New and amended definitions, general provisions, training provisions and security provisions.

Part 2: Updates to the classification of substances, new provisions for the transport of samples and the transport of wastes, and amendments to chapter 2 regarding explosives, gases, flammable liquids and flammable solids. There is also a new chapter (2.8) on corrosive substances and changes to chapter 2.9 with regard to lithium batteries.  

Part 3: Various updates to the Dangerous Goods List and the Special Provisions [SJE5] including new special provisions applicable to lithium batteries and vehicles powered by a fuel cell engine.

Part 4: New and amended packing instructions, including special provisions for portable tanks.

Part 5: Revised marking, placarding and transportation documentation requirements, including a new section on labels for articles containing dangerous goods transported as UN numbers 3537, 3538, 3539, 3540, 3541, 3542, 3543, 3544, 3545, 3546, 3547 and 3548.

Part 6: Amends Chapter 6 throughout and includes class 6.2 substances. New ISO standards for gas cylinders of all types.

Part 7: A new paragraph regarding the transport to or from offshore oil platforms, mobile offshore drilling units and other offshore installations. A new stowage code (SW30) for special stowage provisions.

For more details on the amendments, please see IMO Resolution MSC. 442(99)

What should shipowners, operators and shippers do now?

Owners and operators of ships intending to carry packaged dangerous goods cargoes will have to implement the new requirements by 1 January 2020, and are encouraged to consider their early implementation from 1 January 2019.

For further information

Speak to one of our experts at your local Lloyd's Register Group office or contact