Liquid cargo of the month - BIMCO Liquid Cargo Database website and the text "Tung Oil" on laptop superimposed over photo of Tung flower tree

Liquid cargo of the month – Tung Oil

Published: 20 July 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 about 310 of the commonly transported liquid cargoes including Tung Oil.

Trade names:
China-wood oil, Chinese Wood Oil, Raw Tung Oil and Raw Wood Oil

Clear amber viscous liquid with a characteristic odour. Tung oil is not regarded as a health hazard, but it is combustible when exposed to heat or flame. Can react with oxidising materials.

IBC Code requirements:
Ship type 2k and tank type 2g.  Though, Tung oil can be carried in Ship Type 3 tankers according to MARPOL Annex II regulation 4.1.3, an Administration may exempt ships from the carriage requirements for ships certified to carry individually-identified vegetable oils.
High-level alarm to be fitted in cargo tanks.

The cargo's viscosity at 20C shall be specified on a shipping document. If the cargo's viscosity exceeds 50 mPa.s at 20C, the temperature at which the cargo has a viscosity of 50 mPa.s shall be specified in the shipping document. The same applies for the cargo's melting point.

Tank cleaning: 
Prewash is required when the cargo's viscosity at unloading temperature exceeds 50 m.Pa.s and is required when unloaded inside “certain regional areas”. Refer to MARPOL Annex II regulation
Prewash is also required when unloading temperature is less than 5C or 10C higher than the cargo's melting point - depending on whether the melting point is less than or equal to, or more than 15C).

The cargo is subject to the prewash requirements in regulation of Annex II of MARPOL. (Persistent floater unloaded inside “certain regional areas”).
Prewash is also required when the vessel's stripping system was not used during unloading.
This cargo is considered a drying oil. Tank cleaning should be initiated as soon as possible after unloading, if port regulations allow, and it is recommended to keep the tank(s) wet between end of stripping to the commencement of the tank cleaning.

Due to the large molecules of tung oil, it can be difficult to remove cargo residues entrained in the coating (from zinc coating in particular). Therefore, a wash with a cleaning chemical (detergent or hydrocarbon remover) may be necessary.

The BIMCO Liquid Cargo Database contains information on some 310 cargoes, all updated to the IBC Code 2021 amended requirements, but 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