695 - 5/2010 - Iron Ore Fines Update - India


The trade in iron ore fines from India is continuing to increase and the demand from China is likely to persist for at least the foreseeable future.

The Club's earlier LP Bulletins

546 - 10/07,

647 - 7/09


660 - 10/09

warn members of the serious risks that can be associated with the carriage of iron ore fines loaded at Indian ports. Last year there were reports of two vessels that had capsized after loading Indian iron ore fines and the Club has been involved with a number of cases, two of which could have had serious consequences, involving this commodity.

Accordingly with the impending south west monsoon season (beginning early June), the Club is taking a proactive stance to ensure the safety of Members’ vessels when loading this cargo. Members should be aware that once a cargo is loaded onboard it will be very difficult to discharge it from the vessel if problems are encountered.

The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (“IMSBC Code”) comes into force on 1st January 2011 but from 1st January 2009 the code has been advisory and should be considered as “best practice”.

However, in relation to iron ore fines, the IMSBC code reflects the current Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes, 2004 (“BC Code”) and although iron ore fines is not a listed cargo it is acknowledged as being a cargo that may liquefy.

That being the case, the remainder of this bulletin will refer to and quote from the IMSBC Code although Members should note that the meaning and advice of the IMSBC Code is, to all intents and purposes, the same as that contained in the BC Code.

The IMSBC Code states that it is the responsibility of the Shipper to provide the cargo and document that is safe for shipment.


Staff Author