BIMCO reports on new developments affecting the IMSBC Code - New Seed cake entries


BIMCO will report from now till 31 December 2020, a series of articles, informing members of what to expect in the revised IMSBC Code which wlll come into force on 1 January 2021. The first article which BIMCO reports today is on  changes made to the " Seed cakes" entries in the IMSBC Code.

The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code is amended every two years and it had undergone its 5th revision. This 5th revision officially called Amendment 05-19 ( “Amendment”) will enter into force on 1st January 2021, introducing a series of changes into the Code.  However, government states may apply these amendments in whole or in part on a voluntary basis already with effect from 1 January 2020.

BIMCO will from now till 31 December 2020, introduce these changes in the form of a series of short news pieces so members get a chance to digest these amendments accordingly. 

For this first news piece, BIMCO reports on changes made to the seed cake entries in the IMSBC Code

Seed cake ( non-hazardous) – Group C

There is no longer a seed cake entry that originally carried a Bulk Cargo Shipping Name ( BCSN) “ Seed cake (non-hazardous)”. This was a Group C entry, i.e.,  an entry containing seed cake cargoes that do not liquefy ( Group A)  nor possess a chemical hazard ( Group B).  It has now been replaced by the following schedule that carries a new BCSN:

Seed cakes and other residues of processed oily vegetables

It is still a Group C schedule but covering a wider range of products apart from seed cakes. Traditionally, seed cakes cover only residual products of oil-bearing seeds manufactured using a solvent extraction or mechanically expelled process. Now this new Group C entry covers any residual product that is made from seed, grain, cereal, fruit or vegetables and through any chemical process.

For the cargo in question to be classified as a Group C cargo under this new schedule, the following requirements have to be met: 

  1. It does not meet the dangerous goods criteria under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code’s classification of dangerous goods ( see 9.2.2 of the IMSBC Code)
  2. It does not meet the criteria for materials hazardous only in bulk ( MHB) ( see 9.2.3 of the IMSBC Code).
  3. It is substantially free from flammable solvents or other flammable chemicals;

How the above requirements can be met are not specifically mentioned in the schedule but BIMCO would expect some sort of official certification like what is required for the revised seed cakes UN 1386 and UN 2217 schedules in the form of a certificate recognised by a competent authority at the country of shipment.  

New Seed cake cargo schedule

A new Group B, MHB seed cake schedule carrying BCSN “ Seed cakes and other residues of processed oily vegetables”,  has been introduced under this Amendment. This schedule is to capture all those products that do not meet the criteria for dangerous goods as per IMDG Code classification but yet fulfill the MHB criteria for self-heating (SH) properties. 

Revised Seed cakes UN 1386 and UN 2217 schedules 

Under the Amendment, the exempted cargoes have been renamed as "excluded" cargoes in the above-mentioned seed cake schedules. The excluded cargoes remain valid under the revised entry. The shipper will now need to produce a certificate recognised by the competent authority at the country of shipment stating the oil and moisture content of these excluded seed cakes for them to qualify as such. 

For these excluded cargoes to be classified as Group C, the shipper will need to comply with additional certificate requirements as mentioned in the Group C schedule that are applicable to them. Essentially, the shipper will need to produce a certificate, recognised by the competent authority of the country of shipment, stating that the requirements for exclusion from either the schedule for SEED CAKE UN 1386 (b) or UN 2217, whichever is applicable, are met and that the material does not meet the MHB (SH) criteria specified in

BIMCO Online Solid Cargo Database 

To view the new and revised requirements of the seed cake entries in the IMSBC Code, please go to our online Solid Bulk Cargo Database and click on the following links: 

Members can also view the current seed cake entries under Amendment 04-17 or look at our cargo database section showing the list of cargoes under both Amendments. 


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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