The West of England P&I Club has issued an article to remind of the amendments to the IMDG Code which will become mandatory on 1 January 2016.
In May 2014, IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted the amendments to the IMDG Code contained in Resolution MSC.372(93) Amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. Contracting governments have been able to apply the new requirements, in part or in whole, on a voluntary basis since 1 January 2015. Compliance with these amendments will become mandatory on 1 January 2016. However, some existing provisions concerning labelling and warning marks may continue to be applied until 31 December 2016.
Of the numerous changes to the IMDG Code detailed in MSC.372(93), several are of particular interest:
Twenty new United Nations (UN) numbers have been added (UN3507 to UN3526), covering various absorbed gases, uranium hexafluoride, asymmetric capacitors and discarded, empty, unclean packaging.
The Dangerous Goods List has been reorganised and column 16 has been divided to cover separately Stowage and handling (16a) and Segregation (16b). Stowage on deck and/or under deck is still defined by stowage categories 01 to 05 (Class 1) and A to E (Classes 2 – 9, and Class 1.4 compatibility group S). Provisions related to the stowage, handling and segregation, which were previously detailed in full in column 16, are now coded using one or more of 28 stowage codes (prefix SW, detailed in chapter 7.1.5), 4 handling codes (prefix H, detailed in chapter 7.1.6) and 75 segregation codes (prefix SG, detailed in chapter 7.2.8).
Numerous amendments have been made to the provisions covering Class 7 radioactive goods.
A number of changes to the special provisions and packing instructions have been introduced.