IMO Sub-Committee for the Carriage of Cargoes & Containers (CCC3)

By Nick Gooding FCII, IUMI Alternate Officer at IMO

The IMO Sub-Committee for Carriage of Cargoes and Containers met in London on 5 to 9 September. IUMI was represented by Hendrike Kühl and Nick Gooding. Matters of interest for marine insurers are reported below.

Draft interim recommendations for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk endorsed
The Sub-Committee endorsed draft Interim recommendations for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 97th session, for approval. The draft interim recommendations have been developed as the International Gas Carrier (IGC) Code does not specify requirements for liquefied hydrogen in bulk. The new draft highlights general requirements and special requirements for liquefied hydrogen, such as the provision of a portable hydrogen detector for each crew member working in the cargo area; selection of fire detectors for detecting hydrogen fire, and appropriate safety measures to prevent formation of explosive mixture in the case of a leakage of hydrogen.

IMSBC Code matters
The Sub-Committee reviewed the report of a Correspondence Group on Evaluation of Properties of Bauxite and Coal, in light of their potential to liquefy. The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft revised individual schedule for coal. The draft amendments to the schedule point out that coal may liquefy if shipped at a moisture content in excess of its transportable moisture limit (TML) and state that due consideration shall be given to moisture migration and the formation of dangerous wet base when blended coals are loaded. The Sub-Committee noted that a Global Bauxite Working Group (GBWG) has been established by the Australian, Brazilian and Chinese bauxite research groups, with the aim of ensuring industry research on the behaviour of bauxite during shipping is globally applicable. In light of this information the Sub-Committee established a Correspondence Group on Evaluation of Properties of Bauxite. With regard to cargoes that may liquefy, the Sub-Committee finalised draft amendments to paragraphs 4.5.1 and 4.5.2 of the IMSBC Code. These emphasise the responsibility of the shipper for ensuring a test to determine the transportable moisture limit (TML) of a solid bulk cargo, as well as sampling and testing for moisture content, are conducted, for submission to MSC 97 as an urgent matter, with a view to approve and subsequently adopt by MSC 98 together with the next set of amendments to the IMSBC Code. 

Safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel
The IGF Code Correspondence Group was tasked with further developing draft technical provisions for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel.

High rate of compliance with SOLAS requirements for the verification of the gross mass of a packed container reported
The World Shipping Council (WSC) reported on the experience of WSC member companies with the new SOLAS requirement for the gross mass of a packed container to be verified before it is loaded onto a ship. The amendments to SOLAS regulation VI/2 came into force on 1 July 2016 and require the verified gross mass (VGM) of each packed container to be provided by the shipper prior to loading.   The WSC informed the Sub-Committee that a high number of packed containers - 95% or more - were being accompanied by VGM information prior to initial vessel loading; the rate of compliance has steadily increased since 1 July and is expected to continue to rise. There is a high degree of awareness amongst supply chain parties about the VGM requirements, with carriers systematically engaging with shippers who were still not providing VGM information.

Nick Gooding FCII, IUMI Alternate Officer at IMO