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 Name2 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 authorities4 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.
Find out more by reading the guide published in August 2016