The Amendments (41-22) to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, encapsulated in Resolution MSC.501(105) and adopted on April 28, 2022, with an effective date of January 1, 2024, introduce a comprehensive set of updates aimed at enhancing the safety and clarity of maritime dangerous goods transportation. These amendments, which SOLAS contracting governments may opt to apply partially or in full from January 1, 2023, cover a broad spectrum of areas within the IMDG Code. The key changes are summarized below:

Part 1 – General Provisions

  • – Security plans – Specific security provisions for HCDG – both footnotes are moved into the text
  • Chapter 1.2: Introduction of new definitions, such as “inner vessel” and “pressure receptacle shell,” to improve the clarity and understanding of terms used throughout the IMDG Code.

Part 2 – Classification

  • Addition of new entries for “self-reactive” substances and three types of organic peroxides, expanding the scope of classified materials.
  • Introduction of a new in-vitro test method for the classification of skin corrosiveness, enhancing the safety protocols for handling such substances.
  • Clarification on the classifications of Chronic 1 and 2 marine pollutants, providing clearer guidance for the handling and transportation of environmentally hazardous substances.
  • Modification of test summaries specifically for lithium batteries, exempting small button cells already installed in devices from certain requirements.
    In the introductory notes, in note 3 UN 3462 is added so that solid toxins from plant, animal or bacterial sources which do not contain any infectious substances, or toxins that are contained in
    substances which are not infectious substances are also considered for classification as well as liquids covered under UN 3172.
  • Updated testing protocols for “Low-dispersible radioactive material,” ensuring the latest safety standards are applied.

Part 3 – Dangerous Goods List

  • Inclusion of a new UN number “UN3550” for cobalt dihydroxide powder, along with adjustments to existing UN numbers and segregation groups to reflect updated classification and handling guidelines.

Part 4 – Tank and Packing Provisions

  • Revision of packing instructions for various substances, including a note that the 400 kg limit is waived for shipments in overpacks and non-specification packaging.
  • Specific packaging instructions for mixtures of fluorine and nitrogen under P920, and an update on water capacity requirements from 1,000 to 3,000 liters.

Part 5 – Consignment Procedures

  • Enhanced clarity on labeling requirements for overpacks of radioactive material, including mandatory labeling on both sides.
  • Removal of the requirement to display a telephone number on lithium battery consignments, with a grace period extending to December 31, 2023.
  • Introduction of labeling requirements for temperature-controlled and stabilized substances, mandating clear identification on containers.

Part 6 – Package Testing and Construction

  • Significant addition of section 6.10, detailing provisions for the design, construction, inspection, and testing of portable tanks made from fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) materials.
  • Inclusion of various ISO standards for pressure vessels, updating inspection requirements for new pressure receptacles, and adjustments to the periodic inspection frequency for existing receptacles.
  • Removal of outdated ‘special stowage’ provisions and introduction of new requirements for the construction and testing of Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), Multi-Element Gas Containers (MEGCs), and road tank vehicles.

Part 7 – Provisions Concerning Transport Operations

  • Deletion of the entry for “Iron Powder” from the Index, indicating a change in the categorization or handling instructions for this material.

These amendments reflect the ongoing commitment to safety, environmental protection, and regulatory clarity within the maritime dangerous goods transportation sector, ensuring that the IMDG Code remains relevant and effective in addressing emerging challenges and technologies.

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