Aerial top-down view of sugar being offloaded from large bulker ship

What is a shipper’s responsibility when shipping solid bulk cargoes under SOLAS, MARPOL and the IMSBC Code?

Published: 17 April 2023

In our solid bulk cargo section, we give an overview of these statutory obligations as well as the detailed requirements which you as a shipper need to comply with.

Many are not familiar with exactly what the shipper’s statutory obligations are, including the shippers themselves, when it comes to the sea shipment of solid bulk cargoes.

A shipper has a statutory obligation under the Convention of Safety of Life at Sea, popularly known as the SOLAS convention, that governs the safety of merchant ships.

The shipper also has another statutory obligation under another convention: the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships commonly known as the MARPOL Convention, which sets out regulations governing the operations of ships to prevent and minimise pollution resulting from the discharge through either routine operations or accidental ones.

What about the shipper’s primary responsibility under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code aka the IMSBC Code? What type of information does the shipper have to furnish and what type of tests are required to be conducted in order to comply with the requirements of the IMSBC Code?

The answers to the above questions can be found in our BIMCO Solid Cargo Section (members only). Use the information available there when liaising with shippers during the course of fixing a shipment and also to eventually assist the shipper, when necessary, in order for their obligations and responsibilities to be met as required.

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen

Manager, Maritime Information

Copenhagen, Denmark