News 22 Nov, 2011

SOLAS - Amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code - Reminder

On 21 May 2010, the International Maritime Organisation’s (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 have been able to apply the new requirements, in whole or in part, on a voluntary basis since 1 January 2011. Compliance with the amendments 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 vessels¹.
  • 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 (amendments 35-10) have been incorporated into the 2010 edition of the IMDG Code.

Members are reminded to ensure that their vessels comply with the amendments to the IMDG Code from 1 January 2012 if they are not already doing so in accordance with flag state requirements.

It should also be noted that IMO intends 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.

Members requiring further guidance are advised to contact the Loss Prevention department.

¹ See Notices to Members No.12 1999/2000, No.11 2000/2001 and No.10 2011/2012