The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

Cargo ships guideline

The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code was adopted by IMO resolution A.716(17) and published in 1965. Was recommended to governments for adoption or for use as the basis for national regulations in pursuance of obligations under SOLAS regulation VII/1.4 and MARPOL Annex III regulation 1(3).

It contains basic principles; detailed requirements for individual substances, materials and articles; and a number of recommendations for good operational practice including advice on terminology, packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling, and emergency response action.

It does not include all details of procedures for packing of dangerous goods or actions to take in the event of an emergency or accident involving personnel who handle goods at sea; these aspects are covered by the publications associated with the IMDG Code and which are included in the Supplement.

The two volume IMDG Code is divided into seven parts.

Volume 1 contains the following Parts:

Part 1: general provisions, definitions, training;
Part 2: classification;
Part 4: packing and tank provisions;
Part 5: consignment procedures;
Part 6: construction and testing of packagings, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), large packagings, portable tanks and road tank vehicles; and
Part 7: provisions concerning transport operations.

Volume 2 contains:

Part 3: Dangerous Goods List and limited quantities exceptions;
Appendix A: List of generic and N.O.S. (not otherwise specified) proper shipping names;
Appendix B: Glossary of terms; and

The Supplement is published separately by IMO and contains the following texts related to the IMDG Code:

Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (The EmS Guide);
Medical First Aid Guide for use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods;
Reporting Procedures;
IMO/ILO/UN ECE Guidelines for Packing Cargo Transport Units;
International Code for the Safe Carriage of Packaged Irradiated Nuclear Fuel, Plutonium and High-Level Radioactive Wastes on board Ships (INF Code);
Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides;
Appendix: Resolutions and Circulars referred to in the IMDG Code and Supplement.

Related articles

Regulations for carrying dangerous goods onboard

Defining various dangerous goods classes

Dangerous goods stowage plan regulation

Regulation for dangerous goods documentation

Transport regulation for dangerous goods at sea

Documents of compliance for carrying dangerous goods at sea

Transport regulation for dangerous goods packed in containers

Regulation for declaration of dangerous goods

Transport law for carriage of deck cargo

Procedure for containerised deck cargo

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