Technical Circular No :126/2017

Subject: Amendments to the IMDG Code (Amendment 38-16).

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  • IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted the amendments to the IMDG Code vide Resolution MSC.406 (96) - Amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.
  • Contracting governments may apply the new requirements, in part or in whole, on a voluntary basis from 1st January 2017. Mandatory compliance will be required from 1st January 2018.
  • Due to the large number of changes to the Code, IMO Resolution MSC.406 (96) contains the revised full text of volumes 1 and 2 of the IMDG Code. Of the many changes, several are of particular interest:
  1. Eight new United Nations (UN) numbers have been added (UN3527 to UN3534), covering polyester resin kits, polymerizing substances both solid and liquid, and engines and machinery.
  2. Engines, along with vehicles, were previously covered by UN3166; this UN number has been amended to only cover vehicles, with engines and machinery covered by new UN numbers UN3528 to UN3530.
  3. Vehicles are still not subject to the provisions of the Code if the conditions noted in the revised special provision 961 are met.
  4. A new Class 9 label has been adopted for use when lithium metal and lithium ion cells are being shipped. The latter type of cell being that used in mobile phones and other devices which have reportedly caught fire / exploded previously.
  5. Several new packing instructions have been introduced. Various ISO standards have been newly incorporated into the applicable packing instructions for gases, provisions for design, construction and testing of UN pressure receptacles and multiple-element gas containers.
  6. A new Stowage Code (SW29) for engines or machinery containing specific fuels and a new note in Definitions explaining that cargo holds cannot be interpreted as closed cargo transport units.  
  7. There are numerous changes to special provisions. Many are amended, a few are deleted and 11 new ones added: SP378–387, SP971-972
  8. The 38-16 amendments have been incorporated into the 2016 edition of the IMDG Code which has recently been published by the IMO. The 2014 Supplement to the Code has not been updated and remains valid.

Ship owners and operators of ships intending to carry packaged dangerous goods cargoes are advised to be guided by above.


  1. NIL


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority.

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