December 31, 2015 is the end of the transition year for the 2012 Edition (36-12 Amendment) of the IMDG Code of the International Maritime Organization. The code is updated every two years but is optional for its first and last year and mandatory for a third year that falls between the two voluntary compliance years. Confused? Check out the infographic contained in this short article and I think it will make more sense: The IMDG Code Amendment Cycle.
The result is that as of midnight on December 31, 2015 the 2012 Edition of the IMDG Code is worthless and must be replaced with the 2014 Edition, Incorporating Amendments 37-14.
I bought my 2014 Edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code from Air Sea Container, Inc. If - like me - you can't get the spiral bound copy, take it to a printer who can cut the spine and place it in a spiral binder. It lies flat and is easier to work with.
There are many changes from the 2012 Edition to the 2014. Significant changes are summarized below and explained further at this IMO publication: Summary of Significant Changes to the Code 2014 Edition. Or, if you wish to see all 217 pages of amendments: IMDG Code Amendments 37-14.
- Provisions regarding the transportation by vessel of Class 7 Radioactive Materials have been revised to reflect the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material – 2012 Edition (IAEA Safety Standards Series SSR-6), which supersedes the IAEA 2009 Edition.
- The format of the 4.2 Dangerous Goods List has been modified to replace column 16 Stowage and Segregation with two new columns: 16a Stowage and Handling and 16b Segregation. Instead of descriptive text, the new columns now contain codes that are defined in Chapter 7 of the IMDG Code.
- There are significant changes in Chapter 7.2, including more stringent segregation and stowage requirements for Class 4.3 and other water-reactive materials.
- Updates of the Dangerous Goods List in 4.2 include:
- The proper shipping name for UN 3268 has been changed from AIR BAG MODULES, AIR BAG INFLATORS or SEAT-BELT PRETENSIONERS to SAFETY DEVICES.
- Asbestos is now to be shipped as UN 2212 ASBESTOS AMPHIBOLE or UN 2590 ASBESTOS, CHRYSOTILE.
- The entry for CAPACITORS has been divided into CAPACITOR, ELECTRIC DOUBLE LAYER (UN 3499) and CAPACITOR, ASYMMETRIC (UN 3508).
- PACKAGING DISCARDED, EMPTY UNCLEANED (UN 3509) has been added but can’t be used for sea transport (!?!).
- A series of shipping names for various adsorbed gases have been assigned between UN 3510 and UN 3526.
- The following Special Provisions have been added:
- SP 367 through 376 (excluding 374, 375).
- SP 968 through 970
- Special Provisions for shipping certain common items have been added or revised:
- SP 376 through 377 for lithium batteries damaged/defective or for recycling/disposal.
- SP 961, 962 for vehicles or internal combustion engines (see also SP 970).