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101st session 6 March 2019
Agenda item 3 Original: ENGLISH
Pre-session public release: ☐



Comment on the proposal for Amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk
Cargoes (IMSBC) Code (resolution MSC.268(85))

Submitted by Germany


Executive summary: Editorial amendments to and rejection of the supplementary

proposal to amend section 4, paragraph of the IMSBC Code
by adding "Environmentally Hazardous Substance, Solid, N.O.S.
UN 3077" for N.O.S. positions of the IMDG Code in the draft
International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC)
(amendment 05-19, as consolidated version of the IMSBC Code) in
document MSC 101/3/1 (Circular Letter No.3883)

Strategic direction, if Other work


Output: OW 9

Action to be taken: Paragraphs 12, 13 and 14

Related documents: MSC 101/3/1; CCC 5/13 (paragraph 5.48) and

Circular Letter No. 3883

1 In accordance with the procedure established by MSC 86, the Sub-Committee on

Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, at its fifth session (10 to 14 September 2018), agreed to
draft amendments (05-19) to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (resolution
MSC.268(85)). The Sub-Committee requested the Secretary-General to circulate the draft
consolidated edition of the IMSBC Code incorporating amendment 05-19, to be finalized by
E&T 30, in accordance with SOLAS article VIII, for consideration and subsequent adoption by
MSC 101 (see document MSC 101/3/1).

2 With respect to the consideration of substances which may contain a marine

environmental risk, the E&T group, after considering the view of the Sub-Committee, came to
the following conclusion:

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"5.48 Following the discussion on the assignment of UN 3077 to the new individual
schedule for Flue Dust, containing lead and zinc, as indicated in document CCC 5/5/5,
the Sub-Committee noted the following views:

.1 UN 3077 referred to a marine pollutant, which indicated an environmental

hazard, rather than a safety hazard as specified in the MHB criteria;

.2 marine pollutant was not a defined term in the IMSBC Code and solid bulk
cargoes could be classified as HME under MARPOL Annex V; and

.3 the criteria for HME substances were broader than the criteria for marine
pollutants in the IMDG Code; …"

3 Due to these considerations, it again became clear that marine pollutants of UN 3077
are not subject to the IMSBC Code. Substances of UN 3077 meet the criteria of 2.9.3 and 2.10
of the IMDG Code and of MARPOL Annex III, which regulates the prevention of pollution by
harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form. The obligations under the IMDG Code
for the transport of these substances (marine pollutants) are related to the packing of goods
and to the stowage on board the ship, which is preferably under deck or, if on deck stowage is
required, on deck in sheltered positions. Bulk cargo is not packed by definition and stowage
under deck in a watertight cargo hold is always ensured.

4 The current IMSBC Code only allows the transport of cargoes which are listed by
name in appendix I of the Code. The classification concept of the IMSBC Code is different from
that of the IMDG Code, where the shipper may assign a substance which is not listed by name
to a so-called N.O.S. (not otherwise specified) proper shipping name, such as UN 3077. For
the IMSBC Code, however, the competent authority has to grant an exemption or initiate a
tripartite agreement for a cargo not listed in the Code. This exemption or agreement regulates
the conditions of transport including an interim BCSN. Such an exemption process will lead to
a new entry in the IMSBC Code.

5 Any IMSBC Code cargoes which can be dangerous to the marine environment shall
be identified and declared only with respect to their residues. If a cargo which the shipper has
to classify as a marine pollutant and assign to UN 3077 under the IMDG Code is carried in
bulk, the residues are likely to be HME under the mandatory MARPOL Annex V (cargo
residues, hazardous to the marine environment).

6 The question of HME has been discussed several times at DSC and CCC meetings
so far. The corresponding meetings at MSC and MEPC dealt with this matter as well. Finally,
it was decided to regulate the issue of HME in MARPOL Annex V and to oblige the shipper to
evaluate a cargo with respect to possible HME properties, and to classify it accordingly if

7 The UN recommendations classify goods into UN numbers considering the

multimodal transport of packed dangerous goods. These circumstances do not match with the
requirements for the carriage of solid bulk cargoes. Therefore, the system of handling the cargo
is different. In particular, residues of bulk cargoes have to be considered even after unloading.
Materials which are harmful to the marine environment are handled in accordance with a
concept based on MARPOL Annex V. In subsection 4.2 of the IMSBC Code (provision of
information), there is a link to MARPOL Annex V.

8 Currently, the shipper decides whether or not their bulk cargo is HME for the purpose
of residue handling. Whenever a cargo meets the criteria for Environmentally Hazardous
Substance, Solid, N.O.S. UN 3077 in accordance with section 2.9.3 of the IMDG Code, the

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cargo probably also meets the criteria for an HME material in accordance with MARPOL
Annex V, appendix I, No.1 and/or No.2.

9 The classification of UN 3077 under the IMDG Code, however, has no relevance for
the transport in bulk, which was confirmed by CCC 5 (see CCC 5/13 paragraph 5.49). E&T 30
recalled that the Sub-Committee had decided not to include "UN 3077" in the BCSN nor
"class 9" in the table of characteristics for material classified under this UN Number in the
IMDG Code. Despite this, E&T 30 prepared a draft amendment to section, which now
causes confusion.

10 Section clarifies that whenever a cargo is identified with a generic proper
shipping name (N.O.S.), the BCSN shall consist of a chemical or technical name of the
material, a specific description to identify the properties of the material and the UN Number.
Two cargoes are exempted from this requirement, namely "Radioactive Material, Low Specific
Activity (LSA-I), non-fissile or fissile-excepted UN 2912" and "Radioactive Material, Surface
Contaminated Objects (SCO-I), non-fissile or fissile-excepted UN 2913". These two cargoes
have a schedule in the IMSBC Code and may be shipped without any additional declaration of
a chemical and technical name.

11 The draft amendment to this section now exempts a third cargo from the requirement
to declare the chemical name, i.e. Environmentally Hazardous Substance, Solid, N.O.S,
UN 3077. This means that if UN 3077 was transported under the IMSBC Code, the chemical
name would not need to be mentioned. However, according to the decision of the
Sub-Committee, there are no substances in the IMSBC Code identified by UN 3077. Thus,
there is no entry or schedule in the IMSBC Code that this provision might refer to. Furthermore,
the provision is misleading. When a material identified by UN 3077 in the IMDG Code is carried
as HME under the IMSBC Code, this material shall not be exempted from declaring the
chemical or technical name of the material in the BCSN. Therefore, the proposed amendment
should not be made.


12 Section 4, paragraph

The proposed addition of "Environmentally Hazardous Substance, Solid, N.O.S. UN 3077"

should not be made. Paragraph should remain as it currently is.

13 During the consideration of the draft of the IMSBC Code, some editorial errors with
considerable impact have been identified and should be corrected in the final version as

.1 On page 282 in the schedule of "Metal Sulphide Concentrates, Corrosive

UN 1759 (see also Mineral Concentrates schedules)" in the section "Hazard"
in the sentence "Some metal sulphite concentrates may have acute and long
term health effects.", the name "metal sulphite concentrates" should read
"metal sulphide concentrates" since "sulphite" is a different substance than

.2 On page 419 in schedules of "Zinc Oxide Enriched Flue Dust", the

abbreviation "(MFAG)" after "Medical First Aid Guide" is missing.

.3 On pages 375, 413 and 415, the heading of the MFAG reference should be
consistent with the other heading in the Code, where "first aid" is written in
lower case.

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.4 On page 476 in Number, the first sentence should read "Compaction
tests are executed for 5 to 10 (but typically 7) different moisture contents in
separate tests." Instead of "Compaction tests are executed for 5 to 10 (but
typically 7) different moisture contents (i.e. typically 7 but 5 to 10 separate

Action requested of the Committee

14 The Committee is invited to consider the above proposals in paragraphs 12 and 13.1
to 13.4 and the justification in paragraphs 3 to 11 regarding paragraph 12, and to decide as


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