Dangers of Chemical Cargo Misdescription

Friday, December 26, 2008

The London P&I Club reported that one of its members recently suffered an onboard fire as a result of the wilful misdescription by shippers of a chemical cargo. London P&I warns that there is a danger of further such incidents occurring, given the nature of modern transport logistics.

The cargo involved was calcium hypochlorite, a chemical in widespread use throughout the world, most commonly in the treatment and purification of water, and which has some inherent properties which can make it extremely dangerous. For example, if it becomes too hot, or contaminated with impurities, a reaction may set in, leading to fire or explosion.

Several such incidents occurred in the late 1990s, some involving explosions in onboard containers which resulted in extensive damage to large oceangoing ships. Subsequently, both the International Group and IMO issued guidance on the carriage of calcium hypochlorite, and the IMDG Code was amended. A number of carriers went further and simply refused to accept any calcium hypochlorite cargoes.

In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the London Club says, “A Club member recently experienced a fire on board one of its ships which originated in a calcium hypochlorite cargo which, in order to circumvent the carrier’s prohibition of carriage, had been deliberately misdescribed by the shipper as ‘calcium chloride’.

“Given the nature of modern transport logistics, there is a strong likelihood of further such misdescriptions occurring, either intentionally or inadvertently, particularly since international rules to ensure the safe transportation of chemicals are not applied universally.

“Voluntary schemes do exist, however, to promote safe practice in the carriage of chemicals. One such is the Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) Marine Packed Cargo scheme, which has already been adopted by major shipping lines, terminals and freight forwarders. The scheme, which is shortly to be renamed the International Marine Packed Cargo Audit Scheme, provides audit reports on each category of service provider in the distribution supply chain.  It includes shipping companies, ships, tank container operators, container freight stations, freight forwarders, ship agents, and container terminals.”

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Safety

Self-lubricating Bearing Polymer: Safe, Easy to Machine

Many plastics and metallic alloys present machining challenges as some deform and are difficult to maintain exacting tolerances, while others require strict and

Diesel Spill in Houston Ship Channel

A small section of the Upper Houston Ship Channel was closed Tuesday morning after a report of 1,000 gallons of diesel entered Greens Bayou from a cement facility, the U.

BSEE Updates Hurricane Reporting Requirements

BSEE is providing updated guidance for the current and future hurricane seasons through a Notice to Lessees (NTL) released July 27, 2015. NTL 2015-G02 clarifies

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3083 sec (3 req/sec)