New Amendments 02-13 and 03-15 to IMSBC Code Affecting Group A Cargoes


Summary of Amendment 02-13:

The Amendment 02-13 to IMSBC Code is coming into force from 1st January 2015. We would like to highlight the parts of the amendment affecting Group A cargoes, as these are the bulk cargoes we are still experiencing the majority of our claims with.

Following are the sections that have been revised:

Section 1.7 - Definitions:

Competent authority - a new sentence is inserted - "The competent authority shall operate independently from the shipper". There have been issues in the past when the shipper and Competent Authority have been closely related, leading to conflict of interests.

Section 4 - Assessment of acceptability of consignments for safe shipment

4.3. Certificate of test - Adds to the requirements that the Certificate of TML and the Certificate/Declaration of Moisture content

should be issued by an entity recognized by the Competent Authority of the port of loading.

New requirements are set, stating that when a Group A cargo is carried the shippers are responsible for establishing procedures for sampling, testing and controlling moisture content to ensure the moisture content is less than the TML when the cargo is on board the ship. These procedures shall be approved and their implementation checked by the competent authority of the port of loading. If the cargo is loaded on to the ship from barges, these procedures shall include measures to protect the cargo on the barges form any precipitation and water ingress.

4.4 Sampling Procedures

A provision is added that for Group A cargoes, the shipper shall facilitate access to stockpiles for the purpose of inspection, sampling and subsequent testing by the ship's nominated representative. For unprocessed mineral ores the sampling of stationary stockpiles shall be carried out only when access to the full depth of the stockpile is available and samples from the full depth of the stockpile can be extracted.

Section 7 - Cargoes that may liquefy

7.2 Conditions for hazards - the paragraph stating when liquefaction does not occur is reduced to only one of the cases previously mentioned - "Liquefaction does not occur when the cargo consists of large particles or lumps and water passes through the spaces between the particles and there is no increase in the water pressure."

Section 8 - Test procedures for cargoes that may liquefy

8.4. Complementary test procedure for determining the possibility of liquefaction

A paragraph is added stating that even if the samples remain dry, following a can test, the moisture content of the material may still exceed the TML.

Appendix 1 - Individual Schedules of solid bulk cargoes.

Two of the existing schedules for Group A cargoes have been updated. These are:



New Schedules for Group A cargoes have been added. These include:





• NICKEL ORE - cargo associated with the loss of several bulk carriers.


Summary of Amendment 03-15

Individual schedule for iron ore fines, as well as a revised schedule for iron ores, have been implemented.

The intention is to address the dangers related to the liquefaction of iron ores. These amendments will enter into force from 1 January 2017. Early implementation is encouraged by IMO Circular DSC.1/Circ.71 - "Early Implementation of Draft Amendments to the IMSBC Code Related to the Carriage and Testing of Iron Ore Fines" and it has been voluntarily adopted by the governments of Brazil, Australia and the Marshall Islands.

Staff Author