News 17 Nov, 2010

SOLAS - Amendments to the IMDG Code

On 21 May 2010, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee at its eighty-seventh session adopted the amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code contained in Resolution MSC.294(87). Contracting governments may apply the new requirements, in part or in whole, on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2011. Compliance with the amendments to the IMDG Code becomes mandatory on 1 January 2012. 

Of the many changes to the IMDG Code, those of particular interest include:

  • A number of new entries for calcium hypochlorite (UNs 3485, 3486 and 3487, Class 5.1). This commodity has led to a number of severe fires on board vessels.
  • A new entry for iodine (UN 3495, Classes 8 and 6.1).
  • A new entry for nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries (UN 3496, Class 9). Several fires and explosions have originated in packages of nickel metal hydride batteries.
  • A new limited quantities mark.
  • An amendment to the marine pollutant mark.
  • A new chapter 5.5 “Special Provisions” covering the “Special provisions applicable to fumigated cargo transport units (UN 3359)”.

The amendments to the Code are incorporated into the IMDG Code 2010 edition which is due to be published shortly.

Members are advised to ensure that their vessels comply with the new IMDG Code requirements from 1 January 2012, or earlier if required by the vessel’s flag state.

Members are also advised that it is the intention of the IMO to issue amendments to the IMDG Code in the form of a new consolidated text every four years, replacing the previous version and incorporating all changes that have been approved or adopted in the meantime.