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Date: 11/11/2010

Members are reminded that on 1 January 2011, the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code becomes mandatory. The code gives requirements for the safe carriage of bulk cargoes and covers: loading and discharge; safety of ship personnel; trimming procedures; and carriage of cargoes which may liquefy or which represent a chemical hazard.

The new code is very similar to the Bulk Cargoes (BC) Code 2004 (which it replaces), but contains a number of changes, including:

•    Addition of new cargoes; Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) and Linted Cotton Seeds.

•    Operational guidance on the carriage of coal and brown coal which states that such coal is not to be stowed adjacent to fuel tanks heated to above 55°C.

•    Guidance on safe carriage of cargoes not contained within the code.

•    Minor modifications to existing cargo schedules.

While survey and certification are not mandatory for the new IMSBC Code, it should be noted that many ports and other authorities require a Certificate of Compliance.

The ship’s classification society can issue a Certificate of Compliance for carriage of all cargoes listed in the IMSBC Code that the ship can carry; this will replace any previously issued BC Code certification. For further information on survey and certification, it is highly recommended that you contact your ship’s classification society.

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