Upcoming Changes and New Revisions to the IMDG Code for 2015

By the end of 2014, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will publish the next revised International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). The said revision is also known as Amendment 37-14 is going to be an optional when complying starting on January 1, 2015. However, on January 1, 2016, it will be mandatory.

What are the changes they will implement on the new revision? There will be quite number of relevant issues addressed in the new revision and these include the following:

  • The revision clarifies that lamps and light bulb are not considered as dangerous goods
  • Important revisions in the pursuant for Class 7 radioactive substances
  • An added shipping description on shipping hazardous goods and packaging instructions for adsorbed gases
  • Clarifications on classifying viscous flammable liquids
  • New revision will clarify the design and dimensions of various marks like marine pollutant and limited quantity markings, as well as the design and dimensions of labels and placards
  • The OVERPACK marking on dangerous goods shipment must be at least 12 mm high (Mandatory January 1, 2016)

The Dangerous Goods List, Chapter 3.2, will be changed by dividing column 16 (Stowage and segregation) in two, creating column 16a, Stowage, and 16b, Segregation. Codes for appropriate stowage and segregation will be assigned for each shipping description (these codes will be explained in Chapter 7.2).

There will be quite a number of revisions when it comes to shipping descriptions. It affects the automotive industry – the shipping names AIR BAG INFLATORS, AIR BAG MODULES, and SEAT-BELT PRETENSIONERS will be changed to SAFETY DEVICES, under the UN number 3268. Other significant changes under the new revision include the following:

  • Shipping of ASBESTOS will have shipping names AMPHIBOLE and ASBESTOS, ASBESTOS, CHRYSOTILE. For the CAPACITORS, it will be divided into APACITOR, ELECTRIC DOUBLE LAYER (UN3499), and CAPACITOR, ASYMMETRIC (UN3508)
  • A new entry on the revision can be found in the table, PACKAGING DISCARDED, EMPTY, UNCLEANED, UN3509. However, the entry will not apply for standard sea shipments if the package has been prepared for transport according to the requirements of section
  • A series of shipping names for various adsorbed gases will be assigned to UN3510 to UN3526.

There will be creation of new special provisions. It will include the following:

  • Special Provision 367 will clarify the use of the shipping names for PAINT RELATED MATERIALS in shipments that include both paint and paint thinners.
  • New special provision 371 will apply to articles which contain a small pressure receptacle with a release device and indicates the standards that shall apply to them.
  • Special Provision 373 gives procedures for shipping neutron radiation detectors containing non-pressurized boron trifluoride gas.
  • Clarifications have been made to Special Provisions 961 (exempted internal combustion engines, fuel cell engines, vehicles and battery-powered equipment) and 962 (non-exempted internal combustion engines, fuel cell engines, vehicles and battery-powered equipment).

While the changes for IMDG Amendment 37-14 will not take place immediately, shippers and carriers must take advantage of the transition period provided to ensure that shipments continue without interruption.