Circular issued by International Group clubs
The enclosed are Joint Industry Guidelines for the carriage of Divinylbenzene (DVB) in containers and it has been published jointly by CINS (the Cargo Incident Notification System), the International Group of P&I Clubs and the TT Club.
DVB is a chemical that is prone to polymerization (a form of self-reaction) and, when shipped in bulk, DVB polymerization can cause heat and flammable gas to be generated. The stowage of containers carrying DVB aboard vessels can therefore present a risk of explosion and fire if they are not properly presented for carriage. In response to a series of polymerization incidents arising from the carriage of DVB by sea, in 2018 the IMO approved changes to the way polymerizing substances, such as DVB, are carried, by means of amendments to the IMDG Code. These changes are contained in amendment 39-18 of the IMDG Code, which will be mandatory from 1 January 2020, but may be applied on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2019.
To ensure the safe carriage of DVB in containers before 1 January 2020 when the amended IMDG Code requirements come into force mandatorily, the joint industry guidelines highlight the practices set out in the IMDG Code amendments and recommend that these are followed now on a voluntary basis.