DG cargo require special care after they are loaded on board ship. The containers carrying DG cargo need proper documentation. The article here is about procedures and guidelines on such cargo documents.
Documents relating to dangerous (DG) cargo on board are subject to scrutiny by port officials, PSC inspectors and other concerned parties. Thus any irregularities in such documentation may result in fines, detention or other such serious implications for the vessel.
Documentation related to the carriage of Dangerous Cargo on board container ships will mainly consist of the following:
1) The vessel must be in possession of a valid Document of compliance with special requirements for ships carrying dangerous goods. The appendix to this document will contain information indicating class wise allowable locations for stowage of dangerous goods on board.
2) Each dangerous cargo shipment shall be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods List or Manifest. This manifest shall be set out in accordance to the pertinent regulation of SOLAS and MARPOL conventions and the IMDG code. DG Manifests shall be filed on board and maintained load port wise.
3) Each dangerous cargo shipment shall also be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Declaration.
This is a signed certificate or declaration that the consignment, as offered for carriage, is properly packaged, marked, labeled or placarded as appropriate and in proper condition for carriage.
This declaration may be combined with the container packing certificate as required by the pertinent regulation of SOLAS and MARPOL conventions and the IMDG code. DG Declarations shall be filed on board and maintained discharge port wise.
4) When dangerous goods are carried on board, appropriate information shall be immediately available at all times for use in emergency response to accidents and incidents involving dangerous goods in transport.
This information may be in the form of separate documents, safety data sheets or the Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (EMS Guide) for use in conjunction with the transport document and the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG).
5) Where required for reporting to port authorities, the Chief Officer shall prepare an updated dangerous cargo list. This list shall contain at least the following information: Stow position, Container number, Line operator, Port of loading / discharge, DG class, UN number, proper shipping name, weight, flash point and EMS. Such list for reporting to authorities shall be made with utmost caution.
6) The Chief Officer shall prepare a copy of the dangerous cargo stowage plan (indicating DG class & location) along with a dangerous cargo list (indicating Location, Container number, DG class and UN number), and these along with any special guidelines from shippers, shall be kept on Bridge (for ready reference of the watch keeping officer) and in Fire wallets at gangways.
Handling dangerous cargo requires special care due to the inherent hazardous nature of the cargo and applicable carriage regulations.
The general provisions for segregation between the various classes of dangerous goods are shown in "Segregation table" (IMDG Code Chapter 18.104.22.168).
In addition to the general provisions, there may be a need to segregate a particular substance, material or article from other goods which could contribute to its hazard. Particular provisions for segregation are indicated in the Dangerous Goods List and, in the case of conflicting provisions, always take precedence over the general provisions. For example:
a) In the Dangerous Goods List entry for ACETYLENE, DISSOLVED, class 2.1, UN 1001, the following particular segregation requirement is specified:
“separated from” chlorine
b) In the Dangerous Goods List entry for BARIUM CYANIDE, CLASS 6.1, UN 1565, THE FOLLOWING PARTICULAR SEGREGATION IS SPECIFIED:
“separated from” acids
( IMDG Code Chapter 22.214.171.124 )
2. Where the Code indicates a single secondary hazard (one subsidiary risk label), the segregation provisions applicable to that hazard should take precedence where they are more stringent than those of the primary hazard.
( IMDG Code Chapter 126.96.36.199.1 )
3. Except for class 1, the segregation provisions for substances, materials or articles having more than two hazards (2 or more subsidiary risk labels) are given in the Dangerous Goods List.
In the Dangerous Goods List entry for BROMINE CHLORIDE, class 2.3 UN 2901, subsidiary risk 5.1 and 8, the following particular segregation is specified:
“segregation as for class 5.1 but “separated from “class 7”
* (IMDG Code Chapter 188.8.131.52.2 )
4. Whenever dangerous goods are stowed together, whether or not in a cargo transport unit, the segregation of such dangerous goods from others should always be in accordance with the most stringent provisions for any of the dangerous goods concerned.
(IMDG Code Chapter 184.108.40.206 )
5. No segregation need be applied between dangerous goods of different classes which comprise the same substance but vary only in their water content, such as sodium sulphide in classes 4.2 and 8, or for class 7 if the difference is due to quantity only.
(IMDG Code Chapter 220.127.116.11)
6. Notwithstanding IMDG Code Chapter 18.104.22.168.1, 22.214.171.124.2 and 126.96.36.199, substances of the same class may be stowed together without regard to segregation required by secondary hazards (subsidiary risk label(s)), provided the substances do not react dangerously with each other and cause:
.1 combustion and/or evolution of considerable heat;
.2 evolution of flammable, toxic or asphyxiant gases;
.3 the formation of corrosive substances; or
.4 the formation of unstable substances.
(IMDG Code Chapter 188.8.131.52)
Remark: As a general rule to carry these substances in same cargo transport unit, this regulation should not be applied priority over Chapter 184.108.40.206.1, 220.127.116.11.2 and 18.104.22.168 without surveyor’s clarified assess that there is not the above danger due to mixing these substances.
7. Dangerous goods which have to be segregated from each other should not be carried in the same cargo transport unit. However, dangerous goods which should be segregated “away from” each other may be carried in the same cargo transport unit with the approval of the competent authority. In such cases an equivalent standard of safety must be maintained.
(IMDG Code Chapter 22.214.171.124)
8. For the purpose of segregation, dangerous goods having certain similar chemical properties have been grouped together in segregation groups as listed in 126.96.36.199.2. The entries allocated to these segregation groups are listed in IMDG Code chapter 188.8.131.52. Where in the Dangerous Goods List entry in column 16 (stowage and segregation) a particular segregation requirement refers to a group of substances, such as "acids", the particular segregation requirement applies to the goods allocated to the respective segregation group.
(IMDG Code Chapter 184.108.40.206.1.)
*Segregation groups referred to in the Dangerous Goods List* (IMDG Code Chapter 220.127.116.11.2.)
.2 ammonium compounds
.7 heavy metals and their salts
.9 lead and lead compounds
.10 liquid halogenated hydrocarbons
.11 mercury and mercury compounds
.15 powdered metals
9. It is recognized that not all substances falling within a segregation group are listed in this Code by name. These substances are shipped under N.O.S. entries. Although these N.O.S. entries are not listed themselves in the above groups, the shipper shall decide whether allocation under the segregation group is appropriate. Mixtures, solutions or preparations containing substances falling within a segregation group and shipped under an N.O.S. entry are also considered to fall within that segregation group.
(IMDG Code Chapter 18.104.22.168.3.)
10. The segregation groups in this Code do not cover substances which fall outside the classification criteria of this Code. It is recognised that some non-hazardous substances have similar chemical properties as substances listed in the segregation groups. A shipper or the person responsible for packing the goods into a cargo transport unit who does have knowledge of the chemical properties of such non-dangerous goods may decide to implement the segregation requirements of a related segregation group on a voluntary basis.
(IMDG Code Chapter 22.214.171.124.4.)
Procedures and guidelines for stowage and segregation of dangerous cargo, shall be adhered to additionally:
1) Every dangerous cargo shipment shall be made in line with IMO policy and be accompanied by required documentation. DG cargo with restricted/prohibited UN numbers shall not be accepted for shipment unless under special circumstance express permission is obtained from the company.
2) All DG containers must be checked for proper label/placard as required by the IMDG code. A stock of spare labels/placards must be kept on board.
3) DG containers must be checked for condition prior loading and leaking or damaged containers posing a hazard, shall be rejected.
4) It must be ensured that all DG containers are loaded in the planned stow position. Any discrepancies shall be brought to the notice of the Terminal planner / Central planner and / or local agent as required.
The final condition may be accepted only if meeting all stowage and segregation requirements; else it must be corrected by discharging / shifting concerned container(s).
5) The requisite day/night signals for vessels carrying / loading / discharging dangerous cargo shall be displayed.
6) When handling/carrying dangerous cargo on board smoking shall strictly not be allowed other than in designated smoking areas. Signs/placards shall be appropriately displayed at gangway and on deck.
7) Location and properties of dangerous cargo shall be considered when carrying out any special work on board such as hot work etc.
8) Other precautions shall be taken when handling dangerous cargo shipments as warranted by good seamanship, SOLAS, MARPOL, IMDG code, local and national regulations.
9) Further guidance for handling D.G cargo is contained in IMDG Code vol 1, 2 & supplement.