We would like to advise Members that as from 1st January 2004, the IMDG Code will become mandatory under international law as IMDG Code Amendment 31. At present the Code is advisory and only law if adopted as such by individual countries. Under this new mandatory measure, there are exceptions for certain sections that will remain recommendatory, with the amendment of SOLAS Chapter VII.
From 1st January 2003 to 31st December 2003 Amendment 31 will be implemented for a transitional period, though Amendment 30 may be used in this time.
Merchant Shipping Notice 1772 (M), and Merchant Guidance Note MGN 244 (M), are directed to ships within United Kingdom waters and United Kingdom ships wherever they may be. They have been issued to assist in understanding the amendments and list the inapplicable parts of the Code for which international law does not apply.
We advise all Members of these changes and encourage them to read the above documents.
Source of information: Maritime and Coastguard Agency