TT Talk - Amendments 34-08 IMDG Code

A key change implemented in Amendment 34-08 of the IMDG Code relates to shoreside training. This amendment entered transitional application on 1 January 2009 and will have the full force of law under the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention from 1 January 2010.

The entire supply chain relies substantially on trust - the majority of containers will complete their entire journeys without being opened. The Club has previously highlighted concerns that contents and weight may be misdeclared and particularly urges lines and forwarders to carry out basic risk assessments on shippers. This simple step may well demonstrate whether a shipper is likely to present cargo that falls within the scope of the IMDG Code (amongst other findings of relevance to business relationship).

Where it is apparent that dangerous goods are involved, the Club would strongly recommend that action is taken now - well in advance of 2010 - to ensure that shippers are thoroughly aware and trained in the requirements of the Code. Courses will generally be certified and it would seem reasonable to decline shipments unless the shipper can evidence having continuing training in place. A number of organisations are known to be working on training packages, including FIATA and ICHCA International.

Together with ICHCA International, the Club has updated pocket cards that provide a quick reference and checklist in relation to the IMDG Code. These in no way replace the Code itself, which is available from IMO or ICHCA International (www.ichcainternational.co.uk). TT Club Members enjoy a discount on all ICHCA International publications.