Withholding Accurate Cargo Declarations Threatens Dry Bulkers – Intercargo

 bulk carrier, hazardous cargo  Comments Off on Withholding Accurate Cargo Declarations Threatens Dry Bulkers – Intercargo
May 302011

A wet stockpile of iron ore

Last year’s loss of three dry bulkers in just 39 days with the loss of 44 lives, many of them Chinese highlighted the confusion, ignorance and deliberate misrepresentation


To ship dry bulk cargoes safely it is vital that ship’s masters receive clear, accurate and reliable information on the properties and characteristics of cargoes and the required conditions for safe carriage and handling. This is a SOLAS requirement reinforced in significant detail in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), mandatory since 1 January, 2011. But there is increasing evidence that this is not happening in every case.

The consequences of failing to meet these requirements were seen last year when 44 seafarers lost their lives within 39 days in three casualties: Jian Fu Star (27 October: 13 fatalities); Nasco Diamond (10 November: 21 fatalities) and Hong Wei (3 December: 10 fatalities).

Typical problems experienced by our members include:

Using cargo trade names and not the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name (BCSN);

Confusing cargo identification and correct identification of cargo group – whether a

cargo is a Group A (prone to liquefaction), Group B (representing a chemical hazard)

or Group C (not prone to liquefaction or representing a chemical hazard) – for

example declaring a cargo as a Group C cargo (not prone to liquefaction) but

providing a Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) indicating that the cargo is prone to


Obtaining accurate and reliable data, particularly moisture content of Group A

cargoes, determined in accordance with IMSBC Code procedures.

Obtaining correct documentation for cargoes not listed in the IMSBC Code. Cargoes

not listed in the Code should be carried under the clear provisions of Section 1.3 of the IMSBC Code, with the competent authority of the port of loading providing the master with a certificate stating the characteristics of the cargo and the required conditions for carriage.

Intercargo believes that these problems stem, in part, from confusion or ignorance concerning the application of the IMSBC Code or in some circumstances malicious misrepresentation.

“If we are to prevent further casualties it is essential that all parties involved in the

transportation of dry bulk cargoes understand and implement the provision of the IMSBC Code, most crucially providing accurate and reliable cargo declarations” says Ian Harrison, Intercargo technical manager.

Issues raised at MSC 89

It is in this context that Intercargo welcomed a proposal from China submitted to the 89th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held 11-20 May, in response to the loss of Chinese seafarers in last year’s three casualties. Intercargo submitted a paper, co-sponsored by BIMCO supporting the main proposals in particular: developing a scheme for ensuring reliable independent sampling, testing and certification of cargoes; and enhancing education for ship and shore personnel involved with the shipment of dry bulk cargoes with an emphasis on accurate cargo declarations to ensure only ‘safe’ cargo is loaded.

The MSC agreed to forward these papers for further consideration of the proposals to the Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) that will meet in September 2011.

Intercargo also supported a proposal at MSC 89 to allow more time for the on-going

development and updating of the IMSBC Code through the use of an Editorial and Technical group. The Committee agreed to modify the existing E&T group’s terms of reference (considering IMDG Code amendments) to include consideration of the IMSBC Code amendments.

“We welcome the commitment to safety shown by IMO in dedicating more time to IMSBC Code amendments and the widespread support of member states to consider the development of independent sampling, testing and certification for dry bulk cargoes” added Intercargo technical manager, Ian Harrison.

Beware of Any Old Indian Iron

 maritime safety, publications, Sinking  Comments Off on Beware of Any Old Indian Iron
Jul 252010

imageAs the Indian monsoon season starts, the shipping industry once again faces the practical
challenges associated with the export of iron ore fines from Indian ports, says the London P&I Club in its latest Stoploss Bulletin. New guidelines from the Indian government, however, may take the pressure off of shippers to provide certification that a cargo is safe.

Liquefaction of iron ore fines was implicated in the sinking of MV Black Rose in September 2009 with the death of the ship’s chief engineer as he desperately tried to save the vessel. MV Asian Forest, which sank in July 2009 off Mangalore and remains off the Indian coast, was another victim of the same phenomenon. Continue reading »

Maritime Safety & Security News – 10th September 2009

 capsize, news, oil spill  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 10th September 2009
Sep 092009

Deadly capsize off Sierra Leone

A boat with about 150 people on board has capsized off the coast of Sierra Leone, with dozens feared dead.

Chinese cargo ship sinking off Paradeep port
A Chinese cargo vessel carrying iron ore and 27 crew members is sinking three km off Paradeep port in Orissa but all but one of the men have been rescued.

Fuel to be removed from stranded ship
hindered any efforts to remove the oil and it was also impossible to refloat the vessel as it had suffered structural damage during the accident.

APPEA backs bill to tackle Montara spill 9 September 2009

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has thrown in its support for a legislation tabled in federal parliament to provide for an inquiry into the well leak at PTTEP’s Montara oil project.

Confusion over who should probe Pluto LNG injury
a decision on which body would investigate the accident. “It took calls from workers on site, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and UnionsWA before .

Probe of SuperFerry accident starts
Santos City to gather testimonies from the rescued passengers of the sunken sea vessel. “All shipboard officers of the ferry will be required to attend the

Salvors succeed following ‘Full City’ grounding
Maritime Journal
The 1995 built vessel went aground off the Norwegian port of Langesund during the early morning of July 30. Three Bukser og Berging tugs are seen in


US to sign anti-piracy document
The signing announcement comes on the day US maritime officials warned that the end of the monsoon season will likely bring an increase in piracy off the

Puntland plans to free sailors from Seychelles
Piracy has surged off the Horn of Africa’s coast in 2009, with sea gangs playing cat and mouse with the foreign navies patrolling the strategic shipping

Pink Lady News

Locals plot course to help teen sailor
WA today
The vessel was damaged in a collision with the 63000-tonne Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel Silver Yang 15 nautical miles off North Stradbroke Island’s Point

Solo teen sailor ‘tried repeatedly to radio the ship.’
Sail World
Jessica, after requesting vainly by radio that the ship change course to avoid her, and realising a collision was about to happen, had gone below and braced

‘Hit and run’ at high sea
Brisbane Times
She was below the deck at the time of the collision but would not say yesterday whether she was sleeping. It is understood that the ship was in autopilot

Off The Radar

US Government believed bomb ship had been salvaged
An American ship which lies on the seabed of the Thames Estuary loaded with unexploded bombs has been disowned by the US Government,

Centre provides home-away-from-home for sailors
Esperance Express
SINCE being established in 2001, the Esperance Seafarer’s Centre has played host to more than 20000 visitors from 55 different countries.

NJ town remembers victims of 1934 cruise ship fire
Philadelphia Inquirer
AP ASBURY PARK, NJ – A monument has been dedicated on a New Jersey boardwalk in memory of 137 people who died when a cruise ship caught fire off the coast