IG Circular
Container ship carrying container for import and export, business logistic and transportation by ship in open sea, Aerial view container ship (picture)
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Updated industry guidelines on the carriage of seed cake in containers

22 June 2020

Circular issued by International Group clubs

The carriage of Seed Cake cargoes continues to cause confusion and the potential for mis-declaration remains high with the consequent risk of fire on board container ships. Seed Cake is the term used for pulp, cake, pellets, expellers or other cargo where oil has been removed from oil-bearing seeds, cereals or commodities with similar properties, including all such types of seed meal. It is principally used as an ingredient in animal feeds.

Seed Cake is produced by removing oils and fats from plant material, either by mechanically crushing the seeds (known as expelling) or extracting the oil by the use of a solvent. Neither method removes all of the oil and it is the reactivity of the residual oil which gives rise to the hazardous properties of Seed Cake. The method of oil removal and the percentage of oil and moisture remaining determine which UN Number the Seed Cake will fall under in the IMDG Code.

Earlier this year, the International Group and CINS (the Cargo Incident Notification System) jointly published Guidelines for the carriage of Seed Cake in containers. An updated version of the Guidelines is now available and can be downloaded below. The new version of the Guidelines contains some minor changes to the text including an updated description of Seed Cake, some clarification of details following queries received from container ship operators and the properties and observations for each relevant UN number.

In addition to giving details of the issues arising from the carriage of Seed Cake in containers, the Guidelines also provide advice about container selection, packing and stowage on board ship.

The new version of the Guidelines can be downloaded here.