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Dangerous Cargo

Dangerous Cargo

Acceptance and carriage of dangerous goods and marine pollutants moving under a bill of lading issued by shipping lines.

Introduction :


The Carriage of dangerous goods and marine pollutants in sea-going ships is respectively regulated in the International Convention for the Safety of the Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL). 

Relevant parts of both SOLAS and MARPOL have been worked out in great detail and are included in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, thus making this Code the legal instrument for maritime transport of dangerous goods and marine pollutants.  As of 1st January 2004, the IMDG Code has become a mandatory requirement.

Documents :

  1. The shipper of dangerous goods should provide dangerous goods declaration embodying the relevant details listed in section 9 of the general introduction to the IMDG Code and the original or a copy should be placed aboard the ship.  Without such a declaration the dangerous goods shall not be accepted for shipments.
  2. Those responsible for the packing of dangerous goods into a freight container or vehicle should provide a signed dangerous goods container or vehicle packing certificate, stating that the provisions of paragraph 5.4 of the IMDG Code have been met, and the original or a copy should be handed over to the vessel operator. Without such certification the container or vehicle shall not be accepted for shipment.  
    Note : A Container packing certificate is not required for portable tanks 
  3. The documents referred to in 1 and 2 above may be combined into 1 form.

Classification of Dangerous Goods :

For all modes of transport (Sea, Air, Rail, Road and Inland Waterways) the classification (grouping) of dangerous goods, by type of risk involved, has been drawn up by the UNITED NATIONS Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN). Based on this framework of grouping and for the purpose of carriage by Sea, IMO Classes comprise the following, which are further subdivided as indicated:

  • Dangerous Goods.
  • Marine Pollutants.
  • Material Hazardous only in Bulk (MHB).