CCC 4 recognises GBWG research and finalises Bauxite carriage requirements


The IMO Sub-committee for the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) succeeded in finalising the carriage requirements for bauxite cargoes based on GBWG's bauxite research, paving the way for safe carriage of these cargoes.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) CCC4 meeting which started on Monday 11 September is coming to a close today (15 September). This is a report on matters that are important to members where, either an outcome or status is reported at the time of writing.

Bauxite cargoes

A new Group A (cargo that may liquefy) schedule for bauxite cargoes was finalised at this session for the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. This would not have been made possible without the extensive research done by the Global Bauxite Working (GBWG) group; a group comprising of the main stakeholders involved in the carriage of bauxite cargoes as well as contribution by the IMO Correspondence group for bauxite, which BIMCO participated actively.

BIMCO also participated in the working group initiated at this meeting with a view of finalising the bauxite work. In addition to a new Group A bauxite schedule, the following were also completed in the working group:

  1. a new modified Proctor/Fagerberg testing procedure only for bauxite cargoes
  2. new particle size distribution(PSD) criteria to distinguish Group A and Group C bauxite cargoes. Based on the GBWG report, it was observed that the Group A bauxite cargoes, if shipped at a moisture content above its transportable moisture limit (TML) can undergo a dynamic separation process ( DSP) forming a liquid slurry ( water and fine solids) above the solid material. This will bring about a free surface effect that could significantly affect the ship’s stability. A *’wobbling’ effect of the ship  is also an indicator of the ship’s instabliltiy due to the DSP set in motion
  3. amendments to the current Group C schedule based on the new PSD criteria.

As the above proposed changes would be incorporated into Amendment 05-19 of the IMSBC Code, which would only come into mandatory application on 1 January 2021, the sub-committee decided to update the current IMO circular for bauxite taking into account of the above developments.

Due to this new development of DSP, the sub-committee will also have to, upon the recommendation of the GBWG,  consider the long term impact of it on the IMSBC Code and to the classification criteria of Group A cargoes. This would be brought forward to the Maritime Safety Committee for consideration.

Seed cakes

Amendments to the current seed cake schedules, both dangerous (Group B, UN 1386 and UN 2217 cargoes)  as well as non-hazardous types (Group C ), were developed. A new seed cake schedule was also developed for cargoes that are hazardous only in bulk ,ie, MHB cargoes. The revised Group C and new MHB schedule would cover not only seed cakes but residues of processed oily vegetables.

The aforementioned developments to the seed cake schedules are yet to be approved and adopted as they are expected to be finalised at the Editorial and Technical Group (E&T) for the IMSBC Code in spring 2018 for possible inclusion into amendment 05-19 of the IMSBC Code. 

Ammonium nitrate based fertilisers (non-hazardous)

Based on on-going discussions of ammonium nitrate based fertilisers (non-hazardous) and the recent incidents of MV Purple Beach and MV Chelsea, there were concerns raised at this session about the carriage of these cargoes. In order to raise awareness of how these cargoes should be carried safely and how they are to be handled in case of fire emergency situations, the sub-committee decided to issue a circular to cover these aspects.

All the above mentioned circulars, which are important for the safety of carriage of bauxite and ammonium nitrate based fertilsers (non-hazardous), will be posted on the BIMCO website once they are finalised, adopted and disseminated by IMO.

For the current requirements of the above-mentioned cargoes in the IMSBC Code, please go to our online solid cargo database for guidance.


CCC 4 finalised the next set of draft amendments (for adoption in 2018) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code; a code which is used daily by seafarers and shippers to ensure the safe carriage of pertinent cargoes carried in packaged form. The current amendment to the IMDG Code is Amendment 38-16 which will enter into force on 1 January 2018, whilst it is under voluntary application from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. CCC 4 also discussed updates for inclusion in Amendment 39-18 which are expected to finalise this year and adopted next year.

On top of the regular updates to classification, segregation, packing and marking of dangerous goods, discussions included:

  • requirements for carriage of ‘battery-vehicles’ in the IMDG Code
  • revision of the emergency response procedures for ships carrying dangerous goods (EmS Guide) 
  • recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships applicable to the fumigation of cargo transport units.

IGF Code

CCC 4 developed further draft amendments to the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code); in particular on the requirements for fuel cells and draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. This is of relevance for ships looking for alternative technologies to comply with the sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon requirements.

The items, among others, discussed included:

  • technical provision on the use of methanol/ethanol fuel
  • new part for the IGF Code on Fuel Cells requirements
  • proposed amendments and interpretations to the IGF Code
  • fuel pipes pass through enclosed spaces 
  • explosion relief valve 
  • protection of accommodation spaces, service spaces, control stations, escape routes and machinery spaces from radiation heat
  • requirements for tank connection spaces - to be applicable to fuel preparation rooms
  • other rooms with high fire risk
  • level indicator
  • test for gas fuel tank’s high level alarm
  • installation of gas detectors in the gas safe machinery room.

These issues and others will be dealt with further in a proposed correspondence group.

Container Issues

In relation to container matters , CCC 4 considered the following:

  • revision of ISO standards 1161 and 3874 on container lashing/securing of containers on board ships
  • information on the estimate of containers lost at sea in recent years
  • container units, inspections and other operational issues including industry initiatives, like the Global ACEP Database and the BoxTech Technical Characteristics Database
  • implementation of resolution MSC.380(94) requiring the verification the gross mass of containers carrying cargo prior to stowage aboard ship.


The Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), considers technical and operational matters relating to the carriage of cargoes, ie, solid bulk and gas cargoes, packaged dangerous goods and containers. Effective implementation of the relevant conventions, codes and other instruments, mandatory or recommendatory, as appropriate, dealing with cargo operations, evaluation of safety and pollution hazards of these cargoes and survey and certification of ships carrying hazardous cargoes are some of the matters under the sub-committee’s purview. The further enhancement of safety and security culture, together with environmental consciousness in all cargo and container operations are also considered by the sub-committee.


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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