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Statutory Documents - IMO Publications and Documents - Circulars - Maritime Safety Committee - MSC.1/Circular.1649 Guidelines for the Implementation of the Inspection of Cargo Transport Units (20 May 2022) - Circular


 1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninetieth session (16 to 25 May 2012), noted that Member Government reports on inspections of cargo transport units (CTUs), as defined in chapter 1.2 of the IMDG Code, carrying dangerous goods for international transport by sea, could benefit from guidance on how to conduct the inspections. Inspection procedures and protocols may vary, depending on the specific type of CTU, on how it is presented for inspection (e.g. whether mounted on chassis or grounded), and on the need for additional precautions depending on the specific nature of potential dangerous goods (e.g. radioactive, explosive, inhalation hazard).

2 Noting that in those countries where regular inspection programmes have been implemented, a considerable improvement has been experienced in the general compliance with those standards, MSC 90 approved MSC.1/Circ.1442 on Inspection programmes for cargo transport units carrying dangerous goods, which offered inspection guidance to Member Governments to facilitate improvement to and implementation of inspection programmes. Furthermore, to help identify areas of improvement to pertinent IMO standards, Member Governments were requested to continue providing reports on inspections of cargo transport units. The results have been duly submitted to IMO over the preceding years, usually accompanied by a summary of such reports compiled by the Secretariat. To avoid the diverting of dangerous goods to ports where inspections are not carried out, a regional approach should be taken.

3 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its 100th session, agreed to revise the Inspection programmes for cargo transport units carrying dangerous goods (MSC.1/Circ.1442, as amended by MSC.1/Circ.1521), in order to broaden the inspection programmes for CTUs. In this context, the Committee, at its 105th session (20 to 29 April 2022), approved Guidelines for the implementation of the inspection programmes for cargo transport units, as set out in the annex, prepared by the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, at its seventh session (6 to 10 September 2021).

4 The inspection guidance set out in the annex, while not in all cases definitive, is intended to provide Member Governments with adequate inspection guidelines and procedures to prompt substantial compliance with IMO standards and is applicable to all types of CTUs. Related circulars may be developed or updated to address peculiarities of specific types of CTUs and to provide greater detail on certain inspection items such as structural integrity (see resolution MSC.310(88)).

5 Noting the low rate of submission of inspection reports to the Organization, Member Governments are encouraged to submit all reports on inspections of CTUs. Assuming inspection procedures among Member Governments are comparable to the guidelines contained in the annex, the reports will make it possible to justify and effect safety improvements without an actual safety incident happening. To aid the Organization in evaluating the reports, Governments are invited to submit their reports in a structured manner, using the format given in the appendix, or directly in the "Reports of CTU inspections" module of the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS).

6 Member Governments are invited to apply the annexed Guidelines when implementing inspection programmes for CTUs and bring them to the attention of CTU inspectors, shippers, packers, dock workers, shipowners, ship operators, masters and crews, and all parties concerned.

7 This circular revokes MSC.1/Circ.1442 and MSC.1/Circ.1521.

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