Dangerous Goods Stowage Guidance Published
New safety guidance for the stowage of classified dangerous goods on board containerships has been published by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS). The new publication – entitled “Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships” – can be downloaded from the CINS website – www.cinsnet.com. The guidance has been prepared by CINS, the international container shipping line organisation, established with the remit of increasing safety in the supply chain, reducing the number of cargo incidents on-board ships and highlighting the risks caused both by certain cargoes and by packing failures.
These industry-developed safety considerations represent the first in a series of initiatives – undertaken both by ship operators and by regulators – aimed at enhancing safety on board container ships. The publication has been created in response to a number of serious fire incidents in recent years, often caused by deficiencies in cargo declaration and cargo packing. It both recognises – and also takes into account – the significant complexities involved in achieving effective and compliant stowage of containers on board ships.
Prepared by a work group comprising CINS shipping line members, together with representatives of classification societies and insurance organisations, these safety considerations are intended to be used by ship operators, cargo carriers, and port personnel. They provide a risk-based dangerous goods stowage strategy, applying to all sizes of containerships.
These new safety considerations complement – but do not replace – the existing measures already developed and implemented by ship operators for the carriage of properly declared dangerous goods. Likewise, they do not replace the SOLAS and IMDG requirements for stowage and segregation – in fact, they will enhance the requirements of these regulations.
Commenting on the significance of this new publication, CINS Chairman Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen notes: “Cargo-related incidents which result in fire and explosions are rooted in cargo problems. Subsequent investigations demonstrate a wide range of deficiencies relating to cargo presented for shipment. These deficiencies include erroneous classification and declaration; packing, segregation and securing not complying with IMDG or not following the CTU Code; and packaging not complying with IMDG. This new best-practice guidance for DG stowage is intended to help improve fire safety in our industry.”