Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Sea IMDG code
For more than fifty years, the code in force internationally has been the IMDG Code, drawn up by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The IMDG Code-whose acronym stands for International Maritime Dangerous Goods-is the international standard that serves as a reference for the transportation of dangerous goods by sea: this is done by providing a set of rules in a uniform manner for all member countries of the organization.
At the national level, in this case in Italy, the point of reference is indicated by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which in the area of transportation of dangerous goods delegates its authority to the Port Authority.
How the IMDG Code works
The IMDG Code provides the necessary rules for the safe transport of dangerous goods at sea, such as those related to packaging, hazard criteria, transport conditions, package/unit marking, necessary documentation (such as the Multimodal Dangerous Goods Form), transport vehicles, etc.
According to the Code, which is updated every two years, dangerous goods are distinguished on the basis of different classes and subclasses according to their constituent substances. As specified above, the type of packaging, UN/UN Number, recommendations and operational practice can be found in each class.
The Dangerous Goods Classes of the IMDG Code.
Class 1: Explosives
Class 2: Gases
Class 3: Flammable liquids
Class 4: Flammable solids
Class 5: Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides.
Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Materials
Class 7: Radioactive Materials
Class 8: Corrosive Substances
Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials and Objects
Class 10: Marine Pollutants
The documentation required by the IMDG Code.
The shipper will first have to provide data about the goods, so the class, type of packaging and UN number; these data will be especially useful to the shipper in order to assess the risk and feasibility of operations.
Documents that will need to be provided next are:
- Safety Data Sheet (Product Safety Data Sheet): a legal document prepared by the company producing the goods, listing the health hazards caused by mishandling the product, the manufacturer’s details, and transport instructions;
- Multimodal for Dangerous Goods (Multimodal Sheet): a document specific to the transport of dangerous goods by sea, intended for foreign and domestic ports, in which information is given about the product and the manufacturer, the type of transport, the means used, and the route taken.
The final decision on the transport of dangerous goods rests with the shipping company; therefore, it will be necessary to rely on experts in the field who can carefully assess the type, dangerousness and