What is Hazardous Cargo?
Any substance, material, or article capable of being a risk to the vessel, personnel, or the environment is hazardous cargo, Dangerous Goods. The hazardous cargo cover under the IMDG codes, and also known as dangerous goods. IMDG has classified all the dangerous goods under a few categories based on the nature of their impact during a calamity.
Insurance and freight charges for hazardous cargo are a bit higher than the normal cargo due to the risk involved with the cargo.
What is IMDG
International Maritime Dangerous Goods
What is the Use of IMDG Code?
By knowing the IMDG code of cargo, you can easily identify the hazardous cargo category of the particular good. Further, IMDG codes speak on how the packing, stowing, labelling, segregation and handling of such cargo should be done. So, it’s very helpful for cargo owners, intermediary handlers and shipping lines to move cargo without a danger. Furthermore, knowing the dangerous goods category is important to handle cargo during distress.
Who Classify the IMDG Codes?
International Maritime Organisation
(IMO) identify and classify maritime dangerous goods.
DG Classification| DG Class
Class 1: Explosives
Class 2: Gasses
Class 3: Flammable Liquids
Class 4: Flammable Solids
Class 5: Oxidizing Substances/Organic Peroxides
Class 6: Toxic/ Infectious Substances
Class 7: Radioactive Material
Class 8: Corrosive Substances
Class 9: Miscellaneous
Can I Declare Dangerous Goods as Non-DG Caro?
This is a very big mistake of the shippers. The shippers may mistakenly or purposely mention DG as non-DG in BL or in other commercial documents. When declaring DG as non-DG, parties who handle the cargo will not pay extra care on handling or stowing cargo. This could lead to cargo explosions, and lead to other dangers. If the DG declare as declare cargo handlers know how to handle such cargo and how they should store.
For example, you cannot put some cargo on the ground, some have to store in between other containers to avoid sunlight. Compensation for the wrong declaration can be so many lives and properties.
So, it is very important to declare DG as DG cargo. And it is the utmost responsibility of the shipper to do the correct declaration, packing and marking of cargo. Be mindful.
It’s very critical to declare hazardous cargo correctly, handle them correctly. Because safety should be the first priority!
What should mention on DG Cargo for Identification
- PSN: Proper Shipping Name of Cargo
- IMO Class
- UN Number: This is a summary of the cargo description
Who Cargo Packing Should Do?
Hazardous cargo has 3 categories based on their danger. Cargo under 1.2,5.2,6.2,7 classes and fumigated containers are excluded under these 3 groups.
The groups are:
- PG1 Great Danger
- PG11 Medium Danger
- PG111 Minor Danger
What is the Use of Marking, Placarding and Labelling?
These are used for the easy identification of cargo. During the cargo handling, it won’t be always practical to look into the documents and check for the cargo details. When the markings and placards are on the packing, cargo handlers can move cargo by looking at them.
What is MSDS?
Material Safety Data Sheet has all the information related to a hazardous good. By looking at the details in MSDS, can easily identify the IMDG code of a hazardous good.
The shipmaster also has an MSDS to guide ship crew on hazardous cargo handling.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Wrong container weight (VGM)
Miss packing details
Wrong or not mention temperature for reefer cargo
Miss type of gross weight and net weight
Wrong cargo type
Put wrong marking