New IMSBC Protocol For Carriage of Iron Ore Fines


Published: 6 January 2014

A new iron ore fines Schedule to the IMSBC Code was agreed at the IMO DSC 18 meeting in September 2013 governing the carriage of iron ore fines by sea. The IMO Circular announcing the changes DSC.1/Circ.71 is attached. The draft Schedule was presented to the DSC meeting as a joint proposal by the Brazilian and Australian competent authorities and a group of industry bodies* led by the International Group of P&I Clubs. The draft was based on the outcome of a wide ranging research project undertaken jointly by Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale on the behaviour of iron ore fines cargoes carried by sea, which itself had been independently reviewed by Imperial College, London and Minton, Treharne and Davies (MTD), in order to ensure that the basis for the new Schedule was based on sound and impartial scientific research.

The International Group co-ordinated the Imperial College/MTD review of the research work and also led the industry representation on this specific matter at the IMO DSC 18 meeting. The conclusion of this work represents a successful outcome to the concerns previously raised by the International Group with regard to the carriage of iron ore fines by sea from certain jurisdictions. Although the new draft Schedule will be mandatory in all SOLAS States Parties from 1 January 2017, IMO circular DSC.1/Circ.71 invites States to implement voluntarily the new draft Schedule and test procedure as soon as possible.

The International Group is liaising closely with the mining interests and the key competent authorities in order to determine when States will give early effect to the new Schedule in accordance with the IMO Circular. Australia instituted early implementation on 1 January 2014. The Australian Exemption Certificate of 12 December 2013 is attached.

The International Group of P&I Clubs, Intercargo, ICS, IFAN and BIMCO