Advice issued on carrying solid bulk cargoes safely

Lloyd’s Register, the UK P&I Club, and INTERCARGO have produced a pocket guide for ships’ officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading. This pocket guide 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.

The main legislation governing safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes is the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which became mandatory on January 1, 2011, under the SOLAS Convention. No matter what solid bulk cargo you are carrying, the same general requirements apply for accepting them for shipment and loading them.

Accepting cargoes for shipment- Information required from the shipper
Before you can accept a cargo for shipment, the shipper must provide the Master with valid, up-to-date information about the cargo’s physical and chemical properties. The exact information and documentation they must provide is listed in the Code under ‘Assessment of acceptability of consignments for safe shipment; Provision of Information’, and includes the correct Bulk Cargo Shipping Name and a declaration that the cargo information is correct.

Accepting cargoes not listed in the IMSBC Code
The list of individual cargoes contained in the Code is not exhaustive. If a cargo not listed in the Code is presented for shipment, the shipper and the appropriate competent authorities must follow this process:
1. Before loading, the shipper must provide details of the characteristics and properties of the cargo to the competent authority of the port of loading.
2. Based on this information the competent authority of the port of loading will assess the acceptability of the cargo for shipment. – If the assessment defines the cargo as Group A or B5 , the competent authorities will set the preliminary suitable conditions for carriage. – If the cargo is Group C5 then carriage can be authorised by the port of loading and the competent authorities of the unloading port and flag state will be informed of the authorisation.
3. In both cases, the competent authority of the port of loading will give the Master a certificate stating the characteristics of the cargo and the required conditions for carriage and handling. The competent authority of the port of loading will also provide the same information to the IMO.

Click to download the guide: LR-imsbc-code-pocket-guide-on-carrying-solid-bulk-cargoes-safely

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