International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code Amendments (06-21)

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS Convention), as amended, deals with various aspects of maritime safety and contains, in chapter VI, the mandatory provisions governing the carriage of solid bulk cargoes. These provisions are extended in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code).

The primary aim of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) is to facilitate the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes by providing information on the dangers associated with the shipment of certain types of solid bulk cargoes and instructions on the procedures to be adopted when the shipment of solid bulk cargoes is contemplated.
The IMO Maritime Safety Committee adopted Resolution MSC.500(105) containing a new set of amendments to the IMSBC Code. These amendments, known as Amendment 06-21, and will enter into force on December 1, 2023. Although Administrations may apply them on a voluntary basis starting from January 1, 2023.

Here’s an overview of the key changes and updates:
1. Definitions Relating to Dynamic Separation:
New definitions related to the phenomenon of “dynamic separation” have been introduced. These definitions are crucial for understanding and addressing the risks associated with certain types of solid bulk cargoes.
“Dynamic separation” is defined as the phenomenon of forming a liquid slurry (water and fine solids) above the solid material, which can significantly affect the ship’s stability.
“Group A” consists of cargoes that pose a hazard due to moisture, which may result in liquefaction or dynamic separation if shipped at a moisture content exceeding their transportable moisture limit.
2. Changes to IMSBC Appendix 1 – “Individual Schedule of Solid Bulk Cargoes”:
New cargo entries have been added to IMSBC Appendix 1, which is the individual schedule of solid bulk cargoes. Some solid bulk cargoes have been removed from the list.
Examples of newly added solid bulk cargoes include ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer, clam shell, and leach residue containing lead.
On the other hand, ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer (non-hazardous) and triple granular superphosphate have been deleted from the list.
3. Amendments to Various Sections of the IMSBC Code:
The IMSBC Code has undergone changes in several sections to incorporate the new definitions and cargo classifications.
Notable changes include updates to Section 7, which now addresses “Cargoes which may liquefy or undergo dynamic separation.”
Section 8 has been updated to focus on “Test procedures for group A cargoes,” reflecting the classification of cargoes based on moisture content and the risk of liquefaction or dynamic separation.
Other sections, such as those related to hazardous materials and their classification, have also been amended to align with the latest standards and definitions.

For more details on the amendments and a full list of the new cargoes added to the IMSBC Code, please see IMO Resolution MSC.500(105) – Amendments to the IMSBC Code.

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