INTERNATIONAL GAS CARRIER CODE (IGC CODE)

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The International Code of the Construction & Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), accepted by the resolution MSC.5(48), has been obligatory under SOLAS chapter VII since 1 July 1986. The IGC Code covers ships despite of their size, including those of less than(<500) gross tonnage, involved in transportation of liquefied gases having a vapour pressure exceeding 2.8 bar absolute at a temperature of 37.8°C, & certain other substances listed in chapter 19 of the Code. The motive of the Code is to provide an international level for the safe carriage by sea in bulk of liquefied gases & the substances listed in chapter 19, by advising the design & construction standards of ships involved in such transportation & the equipment they should carry so as to minimize the risk to the ship, to its crew & to the environment, having considered the nature of the products involved.

The basic idea is one of ship types related to the dangers of the products covered by these codes, each of which may have one or more dangerous properties. A possible danger may arise owing to the products being carried under the cryogenic (refrigerated) or pressure conditions.

Severe collisions or stranding could lead to cargo tank damage and uncontrolled release of the product. Such release could result in evaporation & dispersion of the product & , in some cases, could cause brittle cracking of the ship’s hull. The conditions in the codes are considered to minimize these risks as far as is practicable, based upon present knowledge & technology.

Though the progress of the Code it was recognized that it should be based upon sound naval architectural & engineering principles & the best understanding available as to the dangers of the various products covered; Moreover that gas carrier design technology is not only a complex technology but is rapidly developing & that the Code should not remain static. Therefore, IGC Code is kept under review, taking into consideration experience & technological development. The latest complete modification of the IGC Code were accepted by resolution MSC.370(93), expected to enforced on 1st July 2016.

Code for the Construction of Equipment of the Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (GC Code) & Code for Existing Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (EGC Code)

Gas carriers built before 1st July 1986 & after 31st Oct. 1976 should follow with the requirements of the Code for the Construction Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (GC Code), while gas carriers that had already been trading before the implementation of the GC Code should follow with the requirements of the Code for Existing Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk.

For more information about the IGC Code & related publications, please send an email to ccc@imo.org.