Aerial view of a green cargo ship loading grain

When is a solid bulk cargo a grain cargo and not a cargo under the IMSBC Code? Is there a list of grain cargoes available?

Published: 25 April 2024

We often get questions that range from the applicability of the carriage requirements of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code on grain cargoes to when does the International Grain Code apply to cargoes listed in the IMSBC Code. 

The definition of a grain cargo is covered in the International Grain Code: 

“A 2.1 The term grain covers wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and processed forms thereof, whose behaviour is similar to that of grain in its natural state.“ 

At a glance, this definition seems straightforward, but it neither explains what is meant by "processed" nor details the behaviour of grain is in its natural state. Many questions arise: 

So does the IMSBC Code apply to grain cargoes?  

When do cargoes listed in the IMSBC Code have to comply with the International Grain Code?  

Should you request cargo information and a declaration form from a shipper when grain is the cargo?  

Is there a list of grain cargoes available? 

The answers to all the above questions and the necessary guidance can be found in our Solid Bulk Cargo Database BIMCO Cargo section/solid bulk cargo/Cargo Questions (members only).


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Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen

Manager, Maritime Information

Copenhagen, Denmark