Chapter 15 - Operational Requirements
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Chapter 15 - Operational Requirements

 To ensure that all crew members involved in cargo operations have sufficient information about cargo properties and operating the cargo system so they can conduct cargo operations safely.

15.1 General

15.1.1 The quantity of a cargo required to be carried should be in accordance with the requirements in 16.1.1 and 16.1.2 of the IBC Code.

15.1.2 Tanks carrying liquids at ambient temperatures should be loaded in such a way as to avoid the tank becoming liquid-full during the voyage, having due regard to the highest temperature which the cargo may reach.

15.1.3 When carrying cargo requiring controlled venting in column g in the table of chapter 17 of the IBC Code, the access to any surrounding areas in the horizontal plane and upwards of the vent outlet should be restricted within a 4 m horizontal zone.

15.2 Cargo information

15.2.1 A copy of the present Code and the IBC Code, or national regulations incorporating the requirements of the present Code and the IBC Code, should be on board every vessel covered by the present Code.

15.2.2 Any cargo offered for bulk shipment should be indicated in the shipping documents by the product name under which it is listed in chapter 17 or 18 of the IBC Code or the latest edition of MEPC.2 Circular or under which it has been provisionally assessed. Where the cargo is a mixture, an analysis indicating the dangerous components contributing significantly to the total hazard of the product should be provided, or a complete analysis if this is available. Such an analysis should be certified by the manufacturer or by an independent expert acceptable to the Administration.

15.2.3 Information should be on board, and available to all concerned, giving the necessary data for the safe carriage of the cargo in bulk. Such information should include a cargo stowage plan, to be kept in an accessible place, indicating all cargo on board, including for each dangerous chemical carried:

  • .1 a full description of the physical and chemical properties, including reactivity, necessary for the safe containment of the cargo;

  • .2 action to be taken in the event of spills or leaks;

  • .3 countermeasures against accidental personal contact;

  • .4 fire-fighting procedures and fire-fighting media; and

  • .5 procedures for cargo transfer, tank cleaning, gas freeing and ballasting.

15.2.4 For those cargoes required to be stabilized or inhibited, the cargo should be refused if the certificate required by these paragraphs is not supplied.

15.2.5 If sufficient information, necessary for the safe transportation of the cargo, is not available, the cargo should be refused.

15.2.6 Where column o in the table of chapter 17 of the IBC Code refers to paragraph 16.2.6 of the IBC Code, the cargo's viscosity at 20C should be specified on a shipping document, and if the cargo's viscosity exceeds 50 mPas at 20C, the temperature at which the cargo has a viscosity of 50 mPas should be specified in the shipping document.

15.2.7 Where column o in the table of chapter 17 of the IBC Code refers to paragraph 16.2.9 of the IBC Code, the cargo's melting point should be indicated in the shipping document.

15.3 Personnel trainingfootnote

15.3.1 All personnel should be adequately trained in the use of protective equipment and have basic training in the procedures appropriate to their duties necessary under emergency conditions.

15.3.2 Personnel involved in cargo operations should be adequately trained in handling procedures.

15.3.3 Officers should be trained in emergency procedures to deal with conditions of leakage, spillage or fire involving the cargo and a sufficient number of them should be instructed and trained in essential first aid for cargoes carried, based on the guidelines developed by the Organization.footnote

15.4 Opening of and entry into cargo tanks

15.4.1 During handling and carriage of cargoes producing flammable and/or toxic vapours or when ballasting after the discharge of such cargo, or when loading or unloading cargo, cargo tank lids should always be kept closed. With any hazardous cargo, cargo tank lids, ullage and sighting ports and tank washing access covers should be open only when necessary.

15.4.2 Enclosed space entry should be planned and conducted in a safe manner, taking into account, as appropriate, the guidance provided in the recommendations developed by the Organization.footnote

15.4.3 Personnel should not enter such spaces when the only hazard is of a purely flammable nature, except under the close supervision of a responsible officer.footnote

15.5 Simultaneous carriage of deck cargo and products

15.5.1 Deck cargo and products covered by the present Code should not be loaded or unloaded simultaneously.

15.5.2 Notwithstanding the provisions of 15.5.1, deck cargo and pollution hazard only products having a flashpoint exceeding 60C, may be loaded or unloaded simultaneously provided that:

  • .1 each operation is defined and assigned to qualified personnel dedicated to that specific operation;

  • .2 a safe working distance between the operations on board is observed; and

  • .3 the procedures, plans and instructions on board identify specific criteria for when the simultaneously performed operations should not be conducted.

15.5.3 During loading or unloading operations covered by the present Code only personnel engaged in cargo operation should be permitted to be in the cargo deck area; personnel not engaged in cargo operation should be kept to a minimum in the adjacent open main deck.

15.5.4 For toxic cargoes, cargo tank pressure indication including audible and visual alarms situated at the cargo control station and cargo area should meet the following:

  • .1 arrangement is to be in accordance with the alternative means as defined in 7.2.3, with the activation point for over/underpressure to be set at 110% and 90%, respectively, of the P/V valve setting;

  • .2 an independent audible and visual pressure alarm, set to be activated at 90% of the P/V valve opening set pressure, is to be fitted to warn crew of imminent vapour release; and

  • .3 the arrangement in subparagraph 2 is capable of being deactivated during loading.

15.5.5 During loading of toxic cargoes, deck cargo should not be located in the cargo deck area as defined in 1.2.7.3. Once a cargo loading operation is completed, deck cargo may be carried in the area defined in 1.2.7.3.3, provided that the area in 1.2.7.3.2 is kept free from deck cargo and relevant cargo deck areas clearly marked.


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