Shipment of charcoal products

Loss Prevention

Published: 23 May 2006

The Association has recently become aware of a number of separate container fires caused by charcoal products. The products are shipped by the same Chinese shipper, Universe Charcoal Limited.

At least two of the incidents involved containers that were loaded at Xingang. In one case the container was said to contain “charcoal briquettes” and in the other case “charcoal alameer 33mm/120”. The cargo had not been declared as IMDG cargo in either case.

In the IMDG Code charcoal is described as follows:

UN No. 1361 or 1362
Proper Shipping Name Carbon, animal or vegetable origin
Class 4.2 substances liable to spontaneous combustion
EmS F-A, S-J
Stowage and segregation Category A. ON DECK OR UNDER DECK. 
Keep as cool as possible
Properties and observations Black powder or granules. Liable to heat slowly and ignite spontaneously in air. The material as offered for shipment should have been sufficiently heat-treated and should be cooled down to ambient temperature before packing.

The Association advises their Members to take the necessary precautions and consult the IMDG Code when shipping charcoal or cargoes with similar product names.