A new edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the standard guide to all aspects of handling dangerous goods and marine pollutants in sea transport, has been published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in hard copy, as a download and as an internet subscription. The new edition includes the changes in Amendment 34-08, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2008.
Although the information in the Code is directed primarily at the mariner, its provisions are essential for a whole range of industries and services. Manufacturers, packers, shippers, feeder services such as road and rail, and port authorities will find reliable advice on terminology, packing, labeling, classification, stowage, segregation, and emergency response action.
The new amendments to the Code are mandatory as from 1 January 2010 but may be applied by Administrations voluntarily from 1 January 2009. The many detailed changes introduced by Amendment 34-08 include:
- in the Dangerous Goods List, there are 12 new UN numbers going up to 3481, with explosives going up to 0508;
- there are also 5 UN numbers which were previously not listed in the IMDG Code because they were not regulated under it;
- appropriate training for shore-side staff involved with dangerous goods is now mandatory instead of just recommended, and may be audited by the competent authority. Persons not yet trained may only operate under the direct supervision of a trained person; and
- additional changes concerning marine pollutants, IMO tank instructions, excepted quantities, limited quantities and radioactive materials of class 7.