ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) has issued a report to remind of key updates to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) set of amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.
hese updates include a revised definition for Group A cargoes and new requirements addressing cargoes which may undergo dynamic separation during transit, as well as several new additions and deletions to the solid bulk cargoes list. Owners of both new and existing vessels should be mindful of these updates and shipowners and operators should make plans for updating their IMSBC Code certificates and approved cargo lists if necessary.
Update to the IMSBC code (Amendment 06-21)
In April 2022, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) updated its International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code with Resolution MSC.500(105), providing amendments to the code which entered into force on December 1, 2023. From January 1, 2023, ship operators may opt for voluntary compliance.
New definitions relating to the phenomenon of “dynamic separation,” including deliberations regarding the definition of “group A” cargoes
One of the main changes included in the amendments relates to the definition and information concerning Group A Cargoes, or cargoes that may liquefy or undergo dynamic separation.
The new definitions are as follows:
• Dynamic separation means the phenomenon of forming a liquid slurry (water and fine solids) above the solid material, resulting in a free surface effect which may significantly affect the ship’s stability.
• Group A consists of cargoes which pose a hazard due to moisture that may result in liquefaction or dynamic separation if shipped at a moisture content in excess of their transportable moisture limit.
New Appendix 1 cargo entries and deleted solid bulk cargoes in the IMSBC Appendix 1 “Individual schedule of solid bulk cargoes”
New cargo entries have been added to the IMSBC Appendix 1, “Individual schedule of solid bulk cargoes” and some solid bulk cargoes have been deleted from the list. Newly added solid bulk cargoes include ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer, clam shell and leach residue containing lead, among others. On the other hand, ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer (non-hazardous) and triple, granular superphosphate have been deleted from the list.
It is important to note that the “deleted” SUPERPHOSPHATE (triple, granular), as group C, will not be automatically accepted as the “new” SUPERPHOSPHATE (triple, granular), as group B and shipowners/operators should request ABS for review to add this new cargo in IMSBC certificates.
Moreover, there are additional changes to the requirements of twenty cargoes that are deemed to be of a minor in nature that may not affect the carriage of solid bulk cargoes already permitted on ships in service.
Impact to the vessel’s certificates other than the IMSBC certificates
The changes to the IMSBC Code also have consequences to SOLAS Exemption Certificates based on MSC.1/Circ.1395/Rev.5, with new solid bulk cargoes categorized as group B in Table 1 of Annex to MSC.1/Circ.1395/Rev.5, for which gas fire-extinguishing system may be exempted.
Shipowners and operators who intend to include newly added cargoes in their IMSBC certificates should reissue or confirm their SOLAS Exemption Certificates for Fixed Fire-Extinguishing arrangement accordingly.