Dangerous Goods in packaged form and Dangerous Goods in solid form in bulk vary in their properties for potential for starting fire and the approach for firefighting too varies. Fire at sea is the most dangerous situation for seafarers after the fury of mother nature.
Do ships have specific holds for Dangerous Goods?
SOLAS Chapter VII parts A and A-1 is for Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Packaged Form and in Solid form in Bulk.
Carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form is amplified through provisions of IMDG Code and solid from in bulk through IMSBC Code. SOLAS Chapter VII Part A states:
For packaged Dangerous Goods, the carriage is prohibited, unless they are carried in compliance with the IMDG Code.
“Dangerous Goods in Solid Form in Bulk” means any material, other than liquid or gas, consisting of a combination of particles, granules or any larger pieces of material, generally uniform in composition, which is covered by the IMDG Code and is loaded directly into the cargo spaces of a ship without any intermediate form of containment, and includes those materials loaded in a barge on a barge- carrying ship.
Cargo holds of the ships are constructed and certified for carriage of dangerous goods in accordance with the ability to detect and fight fire. This certification is called “Document of Compliance”
Ships are certified by the flag state with Document of Compliance in accordance with the special requirements for ships carrying dangerous goods under the provisions of regulation II-2/19 of SOLAS Convention.
Chapter II-2 of SOLAS deals with Construction – Fire Protection, Fire Detection and Fire Extinction. This chapter takes into consideration of nature of cargos for detection and extinction of fire. Cargo holds are certified for specific classes of dangerous goods in packaged form and in solid form in bulk.
Below section of Document of Compliance specify each hold for dangerous Goods by Class for a vessel it is issued to:
From above we can understand that this document of compliance permits Class 3 with flashpoint below 23 Deg C only in hold numbers 1,2, and 3 however hold numbers 1 to 8 and weather decks 1 & 2 permits loading class 3 having flashpoint between 23 to 60 Deg C.
There are no special requirements in the SOLAS regulation II-2/19 for the carriage of dangerous goods of classes 6.2 and 7, and for the carriage of dangerous goods in limited quantities, as required in chapter 3.4 of the IMDG Code, and excepted quantities, as required in chapter 3.5 of the IMDG Code hence these are not included in the Document of Compliance.
For Bulk Carriers, dangerous goods are divided into those solids which are classified as dangerous under IMDG Code and also MBH, Materials Hazardous in Bulk. MHB (Materials hazardous only in bulk) are materials which may possess chemical hazards when carried in bulk other than materials classified as dangerous goods in the IMDG Code.
Document of Compliance of bulk carriers will list the cargoes by
(1) Bulk cargo shipping name
(2) Group (A, B or C)
(Group A consists of cargoes which may liquefy if shipped at moisture content in excess of their transportable moisture limit.
Group B consists of cargoes which possess a chemical hazard which could give rise to a dangerous situation on a ship.
Group C consists of cargoes which are neither liable to liquefy (Group A) nor to possess chemical hazards (Group B).
(3) Class and
(4) Hold numbers against each cargo.
A Cargo not listed by Bulk Cargo Shipping Name in the Document of Compliance is not permitted to be carried.
The standard certification of Document of Compliance will read:
THIS IS TO CERTIFY:
- that the construction and equipment of the mentioned ship have been found to comply with the provisions of regulation II-2/19 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended; and
2. that the ship is suitable for the carriage of those classes of dangerous goods as specified in the appendix hereto, subject to any provisions in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC) Code* for individual substances, materials or articles also being complied with.
Any question on suitability of a vessel, her hold to carry a specific cargo you may refer to the Document of Compliance or contact the flag state.