The International Maritime Organization (IMO) governs the agreed minimum requirements for handling and transport of cargoes and dangerous goods.
We implement the IMO agreed international minimum requirements in Australia for all safety-related aspects of the handling and transport of cargoes and dangerous goods.
International maritime solid bulk cargoes (IMSBC) code 2022 edition
The 2022 edition (including the 06-21 amendments) is in mandatory effect in Australia from 1 December 2023.
International maritime dangerous goods (IMDG) code 2020 and 2022 editions
The 2020 and 2022 editions of the IMDG code are available from IMO publications. Check their publications catalogue for details. The IMDG Code is given effect in Australia by Marine Order 41.
The 2020 edition (including the 40-20 amendments) was in recommendatory effect in Australia from date of publication until 31 May 2022. It then came into mandatory effect from 1 June 2022 until 31 December 2023.
The 2022 edition (including the 41-22 amendment) is in recommendatory effect in Australia from 1 January 2023. It will then be in mandatory effect in Australia from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2025.
Note: COVID-19 delayed the publication of the 2020 edition of the IMDG Code hence it came into mandatory effect from 1 January 2022. In Australia the edition of the IMDG Code in recommendatory effect may be used as if it was in mandatory effect in accordance with Marine Order 41.
Dangerous goods training for shore-side personnel
Shore-side personnel must receive general and function-specific training if they are engaged in any of the shipping activities of dangerous goods.
The activities include:
- packing dangerous goods in packages
- marking, labelling or placarding dangerous goods
- loading or unloading cargo transport units
- preparing transport documents for dangerous goods.
See chapter 1.3 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and section 21 of Marine Order 41 for details:
We publish the Dangerous, harmful and hazardous cargoes handbook 3rd edition, which is both a training aid and a practical guide to compliance. It can be purchased from us for A$20 plus GST and postage, or for orders of 100 or more A$15 plus GST and postage.
Verified gross mass of containers
The shipper is responsible for verifying the gross mass (VGM) of a container and stating this VGM on the maritime shipping documents. The shipper can use either:
- Method 1—weighing the fully laden (packed) container
- Method 2—weighing the cargo, and adding the weight of the empty container (tare).
Weighing equipment used must meet standards of accuracy prescribed in the applicable legislation.
All containers being shipped from Australia must have a declared VGM on the maritime shipping documents.
Containers without a VGM on the maritime shipping documents cannot be loaded.