Specifically, work continued on the revision of chapters 17 (Summary of minimum requirements), 18 List of products to which the code does not apply) and 21 (Criteria for assigning carriage requirements for products subject to the IBC Code) of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code). 

The comprehensive review of the IBC Code aims to harmonize the requirements for individual substances with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and the 2014 edition of the Revised Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) hazard evaluation procedure for chemical substances carried by ships. An analysis of the draft revised chapter 21, carried out by the IMO Secretariat, concluded that the revision would lead to a strengthening of carriage requirements for a significant number of cargoes listed in chapters 17 and 18 of the Code.

The analysis showed that the application of the current draft of the revised chapter 21 of the IBC Code would result in a 64% increase in products that have both safety and pollution aspects; a 145% increase in products requiring controlled venting; a 183% increase in products identified as toxic or flammable/toxic with regard to vapour detection requirements and a 102% increase in products that would now require personal protective equipment.

Work on finalising the draft chapter 21 and reviewing individual products will continue in the intersessional meeting of the ESPH Working Group. 

The aim is to finalize the review by PPR 5 (2018), so that the revised IBC Code chapters can be put forward for approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and MEPC in early 2018, for adoption later that year. 

Source: IMO