TT Club Highlights Good Practice in Handling Packaged Dangerous Goods

26 March 2010

"The importance of compliance in the handling of packaged dangerous goods for international transit can't be over-emphasised," states Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club's Risk Management Director. "As specialist providers of liability cover to the global logistics sector, TT Club continually seeks to inform and advise operators on how best to manage their risks, minimise accidents and reduce claims. Adherence throughout the supply chain to the IMDG Code is of a high priority in achieving these aims".

This latest guide, jointly produced by TT Club and ICHCA International, provides a quick reference to the marking and summary documentary requirements based on Amendment 34-08 of the IMDG Code, which became mandatory on 1 January 2010.

A high proportion of international packaged cargoes are deemed to have the potential to be dangerous to those who work in the supply chain. Despite this, millions of tonnes of such goods are safely transported every year, primarily due to international standards specifying how these commodities, whose properties vary widely, can safely be handled during packing, loading and unloading and in transit via different modes of transport. Codes have been developed for individual modes under an overall United Nations umbrella and the IMDG Code is the applicable publication for sea carriage.

Up-dated every two years by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), this Code specifies the ways in which dangerous goods are classified, packaged, marked and labelled, documented, stowed, secured and segregated inside freight containers and ro-ro vehicles; plus the relevant 'placarding' on the outside as well as stowage and segregation on the terminal and on-board the ship. A basic essential is for the goods to be properly classified and there are nine classes in the UN classification system. Once identified, the Code then specifies in detail the correct way of handling each substance.

Compliance with the IMDG Code by all the parties concerned is crucial to the safe receipt, handling, stowage and conveying of packaged dangerous goods. ICHCA International first published an explanatory document for its members on the IMDG Code in 1992 and has updated it every two years in line with amendments to the Code.

Together with TT Club it has now re-published two pocket cards, as part of this latest guide and these appear under their appropriate covers. The first card (coded 'IIL/1') deals with documentation and specifies what detailed description must be included in declarations made by the shipper, according to the class of the substance or article. The second card ('IIL/2') shows all the various labels/placards, signs and marks that are appropriate in each case. Both pocket cards are intended to be carried and used as a reference during the working day.

The guide comes both in printed form and as a PDF, the latter providing links to related information. The PDF is downloadable from the publications menu on the Home page of the TT Club website at

. It is also possible to request the printed version free of charge however; a contribution to production costs may be required for larger orders. Please follow the instructions on the website for ordering printed copies. The guide is also available from ICHCA International Ltd at


As previously highlighted by TT Club, the latest amendment to the IMDG Code includes a mandatory provision for the training of shore-side workers, critically for personnel working for shippers, agents, forwarders, consolidators and others dealing with the goods and documents prior to entering the supply chain. The TT Club and ICHCA International have both advised their members to inform their shipper customers of this requirement and have highlighted the Exis Technologies e-learning package as one way of supporting appropriate function-specific training.

A full archive of all TT Club news releases and photographs is available from the ISIS Communications Press Room at

Staff Author

TT Club