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IBC code and MARPOL Annex II changes, affect vessels carrying chemicals

IBC code and MARPOL Annex II changes, affect vessels carrying chemicals

The amendments to the IBC code and MARPOL Annex II which are expected to come into force on 1 January 2021, will affect tankers carrying chemical cargoes and other vessels carrying Noxious Liquid Substances.

Specifically, the changes adopted at MEPC 74 and MSC 101 will apply from 1 January 2021, and their main changes are the following:

IBC Code

IMO Resolutions MEPC.318(74) and MSC.460(101) introduce significant changes to the existing IBC Code.

Chapters 1, 15 and 16 have been amended while chapters 17, 18, 19 and 21 have been replaced.

Chapter 15 has been amended to include the requirement for hydrogen sulphide (H2S) detection equipment to be carried on board vessels carrying bulk liquids prone to H2S formation.

The amendments in chapter 21 ‘Criteria for assigning carriage requirements for products subject to the IBC Code’ implements new criteria for how carriage requirements are assigned.

This has resulted in changes to the carriage requirements of products listed in chapter 17 and 18. Due to the extent of the revision it is likely that it will be necessary for most ships to update the Certificate of Fitness or Noxious Liquid Substances (N.L.S) certificate to reflect the changes.

Members are advised to contact the Flag State/Classification Society to establish if a new certificate is required. Cargoes that are loaded prior to 1 January 2021 should be carried in accordance with the existing certificate.


IMO Resolution MEPC.315(74) adopts amendments to MARPOL Annex II.

It includes the addition of the term ‘persistent floater’ which is a slick forming substance such as selected grades of vegetable oil or paraffin like cargoes.

The amendment also includes a dedicated prewash requirement for cargoes deemed persistent floaters discharged in Northern European ports. Cargo residues of persistent floaters in this area will be required to be discharged to a shore reception facility.

“Appendix IV has also been updated to include the requirement for a vessel’s Procedures and Arrangement (P&A) manual to incorporate prewash procedures for persistent floaters. As a result, the P&A manual may need to be updated and approved by the Flag State/Classification Society.”