ContainersFinance and InsuranceOperations

Charcoal faces IMO grilling as number of boxship fires ignites

Major containership fires are on the up this year, averaging one a month in 2019, bucking this century’s already alarming average of one every 60 days, according to data from insurer TT Club.

The UK company has pointed out in a note to clients that too many of these fires in recent years have been come about from the shipping of charcoal within containers.

Charcoal is set to be considered at the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) this month. The topic was initiated by a detailed report issued by the German maritime authority arising from investigations into two ship fire incidents. The crucial issue at stake related to the application of a Special Provision (SP925), which, where applicable, exempts the shipment from the rigours of the dangerous goods regulations.

The German submission is recommending that the IMDG Code1 no longer permit the transport of charcoal as non-hazardous and that additional steps are taken in relation to stowage onboard ships.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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