At the start of 2020, the latest version of the IMDG Code, Amendment 39-18, came into force. The UK P&I Club has collaborated with TT Club to produce and publish ‘Book it right and pack it tight’ guide – a collaboration 108 page set of guidelines. It offers an insight for all involved and responsible for preparing unitized consignments for carriage at sea.
The ‘Book it right and pack it tight’ guide is designed to support shippers, forwarders, shipping line booking personnel and those who pack dangerous goods into cargo transport units, helping them understand the technical aspects of the IMDG Code.
Amendment 39-18 includes revisions to various sections of the Code and to transport requirements for specific substances. It was adopted by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its ninety-ninth session in May 2018. Amendment 39-18 of the Code is mandatory as from 1 January 2020.
The ‘Book it right and pack it tight’ guide focuses on the current and pressing issue of container ship fires. Cargo fires need a quick response and a know-how perspective.
Stuart Edmonston, UK P&I’s Loss Prevention Director, said, “UK P&I continues to participate in initiatives which focus on the capability to detect, suppress and extinguish fires at sea. However we share our sister organisation’s desire to tackle the causes of such fires at source.
The ‘Book it right and pack it tight’ guide is presented in two parts:
Part A: Covers operational processes and documentation involved in preparing and presenting the consignment of dangerous goods for shipment.
Part B: There is a reference section that explains the basic principles of the UN Classification system, the technical terms used in the IMDG Code, and provides useful background information on common IMDG issues such as Limited Quantities Procedures.
The publication highlights that it is crucial that the personnel who package dangerous goods must be trained and should be conversant with the IMDG Code.
The publication highlights that staff should understand:
– The legal responsibility to identify dangerous goods accurately;
– Where to locate required information in the IMDG Code;
– How to identify different classes of dangerous goods;
– How dangerous goods data is presented on a transport document and what it means;
– How packages should be marked and labelled;
– How to make up, mark and label dangerous goods in palletized units;
– The segregation rules in the IMDG Code concerning the separate packing of different types of dangerous cargoes;
– How to stow and secure packages of different types and sizes in cargo transport units so the packages will not slide, roll or collapse under the weight of over-stowed cargo when at sea;
– The rules of placarding and labelling shipping containers;
– The legal responsibility accepted by the packer by signing a packing certificate.
– Ship planners depend entirely on the accuracy of information supplied by the shipper and container packer;
– If you do not report every UN number, the proper ship segregation and stowage checks cannot be conducted;
– Missing or inaccurate dangerous goods information will result in unsafe stowage;
– If you fail to declare, you place the ship in danger and are in breach of state legislation;
– In the event that mis-declaration leads to an accident, you render yourself liable for civil court action for damage recovery and injury compensation.
Concluding, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s Risk Management Director, said, “As so often the case, fires and explosions are merely the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of problems, which are inherent throughout the supply chain. There are far too many errors in classification and declaration of commodities to be transported.”
Download the 108 page publication: Book it right and pack it tight guide