Following a number of queries from Members the Club issues the below advice in the use of Flexi Tanks. The advice has been written in collaboration with ICHCA’s International Safety Panel.
Flexitanks are designed for use as a one-way, or one trip means of cargo containment. Although there is nothing in international regulations to prevent their re-use the following should be considered:
- The risk of cargo contamination is significant , after several re-fills without cleaning residue product, there is generally 250 to 500 litres of product left in the flexi-tank after discharge depending on the viscosity of the product and re-use without cleaning
- The likelihood of the flexi-tank failing with either a leak or catastrophic failure of the bag increases, it will stretch during each filling and transport operation and subsequent fillings means it will stretch further increasing that risk of failure especially at the material joints and fittings
- In the event of (b) above the shipping line would demand recompense for the potentially significant clean-up operation/cross-contamination to other cargo/vessel hold that would result from a failure and potentially Competent Authority intervention
- Storing the flexitank for re-use and arranging to move back to consignor will incur its own costs and the tank could be externally contaminated and/or damaged in such transit
- Manufacturers will not provide any sort of guarantee as to condition for re-use situations
- The cargo needs to be absolutely correctly classified as if there is any possibility of it being classed as a Marine Pollutant the use of a flexitank would be forbidden under the IMDG Code
- If the felxitanks fail ultimately any cost savings by re-use will be considerably outweighed by the resulting claim.
Source of Information
Loss Prevention / ICHCA International Safety Panel