International Convention SOLAS which is modified, concerning various aspects of maritime safety & contains, in chapter VI, the compulsory provisions regulating the carriage of solid bulk cargoes. These arrangements are enhanced in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code).
The main aim of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), which replaces the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code), is to assist the safe stowage & shipment of solid bulk cargoes by giving information on the dangers associated with the shipment of certain types of solid bulk cargoes & instructions on the procedures to be accepted when the shipment of solid bulk cargoes is inspected.
The main danger related with the transportation of solid bulk cargoes are those relating to structural damage due to improper cargo distribution, loss or reduction of stability during a voyage and chemical reactions of cargoes. Therefore, the primary aim of the IMSBC Code is to facilitate the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes by providing information on the dangers associated with the transportation of certain types of solid bulk cargoes & instructions on the methods to be accepted when the transportation of solid bulk cargoes is inspected. Formalities of the Code harmonizes the practices & methods to be followed & the appropriate safety measures to be taken in the loading, trimming, carriage & discharge of solid bulk cargoes when transported by sea, assuring compliance with the compulsory provisions of the SOLAS Convention.
The IMSBC Code was accepted on 4th dec. 2008, by resolution MSC.268(85), & enforced on 1st Jan. 2011, from which date it was made compulsory under the provisions of the SOLAS Convention. Since then, the Code has been modified by resolutions MSC.318(89), MSC.354(92) & resolution MSC.393(95).
It is worth noting that the IMSBC Code does not cover the carriage of grain in bulk. The particular requirements for the transportation of grain are covered by the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk (International Grain Code, 1991).
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) is approved by the IMO’s Assembly to accept modification to the Code, thus allowing the IMO to respond quickly to developments in transport.