Transport regulations by the International Maritime Organization: MARPOL Annex V and IMSBC Code
The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. Annex V of this convention deals with different types of garbage and specifies the distances from land and the manner in which they may be disposed of. The guidelines of its implementation were reviewed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2012, when the criteria for cargoes to be considered “Harmful to the Marine Environment” (HME) were clarified. The convention, among other things, restricts the discharge of residues of HME cargoes into the sea.
The primary aim of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) is to facilitate the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes. It entered into force in 2011 and included, amongst others, new criteria for identifying Materials Hazardous only in Bulk (MHB). These are materials which, when carried in bulk, possess chemical hazards other than the hazards covered by the classification system of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. MHB materials present a significant risk when carried in bulk and require special precautions.
Shippers have to provide information on the cargo through the shipper’s declaration, which includes a declaration whether the cargo is HME and/or MHB.
The composition, mineralogy, and hazardous properties of copper concentrates may vary widely. The European Copper Institute has developed guidance to assist shippers of copper concentrates to assess whether their cargo is HME and/or MHB. This guidance ensures that the criteria are interpreted in a consistent way across the industry and based on principles of sound science. The assessment showed that only a minority of the copper concentrates meet the criteria for HME and/or MHB. The detailed guidance documents can be downloaded through the links below.
Application to the assessment of “Materials Hazardous only in Bulk” (MHB) as set out in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargo (IMSBC) Code.
Application to the assessment of substances “Harmful to the Marine Environment” (HME) as set out under the 2012 Annex V MARPOL Convention amendments.