Dangerous goods on containerships: New safety guidance for stowage

Container ship fires originating from dangerous goods
Container ship fires originating from dangerous goods

Containership fires are a growing concern. Fires, originating from dangerous goods in containers, whether wrongfully declared or not, occur with alarming frequency. Such fires endanger the lives of the crew, harm the environment and cause damage to cargo and property.

The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) has published a new safety guidance for the stowage of classified dangerous goods onboard containerships. The “Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships” represents the first in a series of initiatives aimed at enhancing safety onboard containerships.

According to the Guidance, it is recognised that all cargo related incidents resulting in fire and explosions are rooted in cargo problems. Investigations, litigation and inspections demonstrate various deficiencies relating to cargo presented for shipment including:

• Erroneous classification and declaration.
• Packing, segregation and securing not complying with IMDG or not following the CTU Code2.
• Packaging not complying with IMDG.

Presentation for shipment of cargoes that are not compliant with national and internationalregulations results in unacceptable risks to all stakeholders involved in the movement of goods.

The Guidance has been prepared by a work group comprising CINS shipping line members, together with representatives of classification societies and insurance organisations. It provides a risk-based dangerous goods stowage strategy, applying to all sizes of containerships and is intended to be used by ship operators, cargo carriers, and port personnel.

Read the safety guidance pdf: CINS-DG-Stowage-Considerations

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