The international regulations concerning the transport of dangerous goods by sea, known as the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), have been amended to produce Amendment 37-14.

IMDG Code Amendment 36-12 is currently applicable, however, amendment 37-14 may be applied voluntarily during 2015 and becomes mandatory from 1st January 2016.

ADR, the IMDG Code and the ICAO TI are published by United Nations (UN) Organisations, for each mode of transport and are based on a core multimodal text. This is known as the Orange Book, officially called the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations.

The Model Regulations are revised every two years and the majority of changes to each mode of transport in 2015 reflects the revisions from the 17th to the 18th edition of the Model Regulations published in 2013.

The official revisions to the IMDG Code Amendment 36-12, to produce Amendment 37-14, are available here.

Some of the notable changes are summarised as follows.

Subject New or Revised Provision
CSC There is a new paragraph, 1.1.2.3, referencing the International Convention for Safe Containers. The reason for reproducing this text at the start of the Code is to emphasise the importance of operators taking responsibility for maintenance, particularly in respect of Reefers.
Empty Packaging A new provision will be introduced to address the new UN Number, UN 3509 for empty packaging. UN 3509 will not be applicable for sea transport.
Lamps There is a new paragraph, 1.1.1.9  setting out conditions where specified types of lamps are exempt from the provisions of the IMDG Code.
Marine Pollutants Chapter 2.10, subsection 2.10.2.4 is amended to clarify that assignment or not of a substance as a marine pollutant by the IMDG Code does not preclude the application of the classification criteria for marine pollutants.
Overpacks In 5.1.2.1, as reflected in other modal changes the marking of Overpacks must be at least 12mm high.
Salvage Packaging In 5.2.1.3 the marking of the word “SALVAGE” must be at least 12mm high.
Portable Tanks, Marking and Placarding New paragraphs are introduced in 5.3.1.1.4.1.1 and 5.3.2.0.2 to allow for portable tanks of a capacity less than 3000L to be labelled on two opposite sides, as oppose to placards on all four.The Proper Shipping Name (PSN) may also be reduced in size to 12mm high, but there is no change to the provisions to display UN numbers.It follows therefore that if the UN numbers can not be displayed inside the placards, as labels have been used, that the UN numbers must be marked in  orange plates in accordance with 5.3.2.1.2.2.
Stowage and Segregation Column 16 of the dangerous goods list is split into 16a and 16b. Stowage and segregation requirements are now coded and rationalised with stowage and handling codes in 16a and segregation requirements in 16b.

If you require help or advice on any aspect of shipping dangerous goods by sea, or simply wish to validate that your current procedures are compliant, please see our IMDG Services.