The 2014 IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code), jointly developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), addresses these concerns through a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of cargo transport units for transportation by sea and land.

The 2014 CTU Code is an upgrade of the 1997 IMO/ILO/UNECE recommendations for package of Cargo Transport Units & was approved by the Inland Transport Committee of the UNECE, at its 76th session (25 to 27 February 2014), the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, at its 93rd session (14 to 23 May 2014) and the Governing Body of ILO, at its 322nd session (30 October to 13 November 2014).  The revision process took place from 2011 to 2013 under the auspices of a group of experts.

Within the CTU Code, comprehensive information and references on all aspects of loading and securing of cargo in containers and other intermodal transport are provided, taking account of the requirements of all sea and land transport modes.  The CTU Code relates to transportation all over the entire intermodal transport chain & provides guidance not only to those responsible for packing & securing cargo, but also to those who receive & unpack such units.  The Code of the Practice also addresses issues like training & the packing of dangerous goods.

The CTU Code is considered to help the industry, employers & workers organizations as well as Governments in assuring the safe stowage of cargo in containers. The CTU Code may be used for national rules & regulations & could become an example for the internationally balanced legislation in this field, should such requirements arise.

The CTU Code was recently published as an MSC circular (MSC.1/Circ.1497) & it can also be downloaded from the website listed in the related links.

In conjunction with the CTU Code, the Informative Material related to the CTU Code (MSC.1/Circ.1498) provides practical guidance and background information on the packing of cargo transport units.  The informative material was finalized by the IMO Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) at its first session  However, even though the informative material is referenced in the CTU Code, it does not form part of the CTU Code and, therefore, it need not be endorsed by the governing bodies of the UNECE and the ILO.

In the CTU Code, MSC.1 CIRC.1531 (E).pdf  the MSC, at its ninety-sixth session (11 to 20 May 2016), having considered the plan by the Sub-Committee on transportation of Cargoes & Containers, at its second session, accepted the Due diligence checklist in identifying providers of CTU-related services (MSC.1/Circ.1531).