Carriage of bauxite in bulk – what are the requirements today?


The current carriage requirements of bauxite cargoes in bulk

BIMCO has received requests from members asking about the carriage requirements of bauxite in bulk under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

Currently, the mandatory Amendment 04-17 to the IMSBC Code, 2018 edition ( Amdt 04-17)  has only one cargo entry for bauxite. It is bauxite that is classified as a Group C cargo, ie, it neither liquefies nor possesses chemical hazards; which would otherwise have  been classified as Group A and Group B respectively for these hazards.

With effect from 1st January 2020, contracting Government States to the SOLAS Convention, can apply in part or wholly, Amendment 05-19 to the IMSBC Code (Amdt 05-19) to their national legislation if they choose to do so on a voluntary basis. However, with effect from 1 January 2021, Amdt 05-19, which is also the first consolidated version of the IMSBC Code, will enter into mandatory force. 

In Amdt 05-19, there are two Bauxite schedules, the revised Group C Bauxite schedule and a new Group A Bauxite schedule. These two schedules are primarily based on a Particle Size Distribution (PSD) criteria, that was a result of the extensive research done by the Global Bauxite Working Group.  

In the interim period before the mandatory application of the two new schedules or Amdt 05-19, the carriage of all bauxite cargoes are to be guided by the current Group C Bauxite schedule in Amdt 04-17 and the revised circular issued by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO); CCC.1/circ.2/rev.1 dated 20 September 2017.

In this IMO circular, it is stated that for Group A cargoes, it should be carried as a section 1.3 cargo ( i.e.,  a cargo that is not listed in the IMSBC Code), if the government in the country of origin where the cargo is to be loaded, has not decided to adopt Amdt 05-19 on a voluntary basis. And that government is encouraged to use the carriage requirements of the new Group A Bauxite schedule (Amdt 05-19)  that is attached to the said circular, as preliminary requirements for such carriage.

Note also in the IMO circular, there is a testing procedure specifically to be used to test for the transportable moisture limit of Group A Bauxite cargoes. 
To see the new bauxite cargo schedules easily online as per the above mentioned IMO circular/ Amdt 05-19,  please go to our BIMCO Solid Cargo Database on Group A bauxite and Group C bauxite. 
To see the current bauxite cargo that is applicable under the IMSBC Code, Amdt 04-17, please click on current Bauxite Group C schedule.

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Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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