BIMCO website's liquid cargo of the month, creosote (coal tar) on a laptop superimposed over a hazard label

Liquid cargo of the month - Creosote (coal tar) (amended)

Published: 24 January 2023

The BIMCO Liquid Cargo database is intended for use by for shore-side staff and to some extent for newcomers on board tankers and should only be used as a reference tool providing brief information regarding the more than 300 of the commonly transported liquid cargoes including Creosote (coal tar) (amended)

Trade name/synonym names: Creosote oil; Liquid pitch oil; Tar oil; Dead oil; Coal tar creosote; Coal Tar Pitch 60 ± 5; Coal Tar Pitch Molten

Creosote (coal tar is a dark brown to black, oily liquid with a strong aromatic, petroleum-like odour. This substance has been associated with acute and chronic health effects, including cancer, the cargo is combustible as well as toxic. Known to be difficult to clean tanks after carriage.

Additional IBC requirements for Toxic products includes requirements for exhaust openings of vent systems, connection for vapour-return line to the shore installation. Cargo not to be stowed adjacent to oil fuel tanks and loaded tanks to have separate piping systems. Cargo tank relief-valve setting minimum 0.02 MPa gauge (= 200 mBar) and high-level alarms is required and an instrument or detector tubes for detection of toxic cargo vapours shall be on board.

Cargo's viscosity at 20 deg. C, or the temperature at which the cargo has a viscosity of 50 mPa.s must be specified in the shipping document. The cargo's melting point must be indicated in the shipping document and the voyage heating instructions should be obtained.  Correct heating during voyage is very important: the shipper's heating instructions for carriage and unloading should be followed.The BIMCO Liquid Cargo Database contains information for more than 300 cargoes, all updated to the IBC Code 2021 amended requirements, but in order to ensure that the BIMCO Liquid Cargo Database information is kept updated, we highly welcome any feedback in the form of comments, response, information or data regarding a specific cargo.

Peter Lundahl Rasmussen


Peter Lundahl Rasmussen

Head of Maritime Information

Copenhagen, Denmark