Ensuring Safe Maritime Transport using the IMDG Code

The IMDG Code, otherwise known as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, is hardly a new thing. It was originally drafted at the 1960 Safety of Life at Sea Conference, recommending that governments standardize the transport of dangerous goods by sea. The adopted resolution of the 1960 concern concluded that the proposed code would address matters of:

  • Packing
  • Container Traffic
  • Stowage
  • Segregation of Incompatible Substances

IMDG regulations were solidified in 1965, but they have undergone numerous changes since their original inception. Industry – all industry is a living, breathing entity that exhibits the need for adaptation and change on a regular basis. That being the case, the international maritime dangerous goods code regulations (IMDG Code) will also see constant changes as they try to accommodate the fluidity of maritime travel. The important thing to remember is that while these changes do occur, the underlying intention of the IMDG does not change. While safety is always first and foremost, safely getting cargo to the destination within a reasonable amount of time is equally important.

Trusting in the International maritime dangerous goods code paperback book

Having easily quashed all other contenders for the title, the International Maritime Organization is now the only trusted publisher for Ocean Shipping Regulations, meaning their materials are absolutely vital to the success of your organization. Some of their leading publications include MARPOL, the IMDG Code, and SOLAS. Across the world they are accepted as the definitive guide to dangerous transport and recommended to all governments for national adoption. The transportation of items at sea can be dangerous, but that does not in any way mean they need to be inefficient. In fact, all cargo can reach its destination on time, and the process can be quite streamlined. The trick to this, even with heavy regulations, is the standardization of every single detail. This includes of course the size of packages, the labeling, and even the composition of the contents within the boxes themselves. In other words, maritime shipping can in no way be compared to a haphazard road trip.

Upcoming Changes to the IMDG Code

As we mentioned before, the code is constantly changing, and at the end of this year, a new revision to the Maritime Code will be brought to light. It has been dubbed Amendment 37-14, and will take effect on January 1, 2015. Companies are to keep in mind that while it will become active in 2015, a year of adjustment will be permitted so that the proper changes can be made and preparation for the mandatory date of January 1 2016 can be made. There are not as many changes in this amendment as in the past, but they do help to stream line the process:

  • Light bulbs and lamps will no longer be considered dangerous goods
  • Revisions to requirements for Class 7 radioactive substances
  • New shipping descriptions for adsorbed gases
  • Changes to dimensions of package markings

It is essential that all business owners and companies who ship overseas become familiar with maritime law and begin to adapt to the new procedures. It can be an ongoing process, but there is plenty of time to learn the changes and implement them. In addition to that, you can be rest assured that the new procedures will streamline the shipping process and give you everything you need to keep your operation running smoothly both in and out of the water.