New Guidelines for the Carriage of Charcoal and Carbon in Containers

October 2017

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New Guidelines for the carriage of Charcoal and Carbon in containers have been published jointly by CINS (the Cargo Incident Notification System) and the International Group of P&I Clubs.

Charcoal/Carbon is a black residue, consisting of Carbon and any remaining ash obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances.

Charcoal/Carbon is considered to be a self-heating substance – that is to say, it is a substance which, in contact with air and without energy supply, is liable to self-heating. A self-heating reaction may result in extensive heat development and fire. There have been a number of reported fires in recent years involving the carriage of Charcoal in containers.

With global production of wood Charcoal and Carbon amounting to over 50 million tonnes per year, the practices set out in these Guidelines are intended both to improve safety during the carriage of these products, and to ensure that it is properly declared, packaged and carried.

The transport of Charcoal and Carbon must be in compliance with the requirements set out in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). The new Guidelines include selected provisions from the IMDG Code, together with additional precautions to enhance its safe carriage.

The Guidelines were prepared by a Work Group comprising CINS Members, including Shipping Lines, the International Group of P&I Clubs and the TT Club. They are available to download from the websites of CINS (www.cinsnet.com) and the International Group of P&I Clubs (www.igpandi.org)..