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10 October 2018

International experts focus attention on tank containers with FRP shells

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS, the Register) was a participant to the international events where the issues related to containers were reviewed among others. In September 2018 the IMO Sub-Committee on containers and goods (CCC5) session and the annual International Tank Containers Organization (ITCO) Assembly were held.

Traditionally, at the IMO Sub-Committee on containers and goods (CCC5) session a number of Maritime Administrations submitted their reports of incidents involving dangerous goods in packaged form. Based on reports, most frequently the accidents are caused by improper goods marking and inappropriate stowage/securing inside cargo transport units. The Sub-Committee urged all administrations that had not yet submitted their reports, to give the highest priority to the above activities, as that information ensured developing effective measures to reduce accident rates, and specifically by clarifying international requirements.

Among other issues on containers, the Sub-Committee considered information provided by the Bureau of International Containers (BIC) to create and maintain the databases on containers and for Approved Continuous Examination Programme (ACEP).

The specialists focused on the subject first voiced by Russian Federation (RF) delegation at MSC.98 in 2017. The speech was the point of reference for development of normative requirements relating to tank containers with fiber-reinforced (FRP) shells, the advantages of those being ever more uncontested.

In particular, at the held session the importance of safety criteria was emphasised to be consistent with the applicable ones to tank containers with metal vessels. Approval of IMO type 4 tanks (road tank vehicles) was discussed regarding transportation by sea in compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). The Sub-Committee members were informed that a working group was currently functioning within the framework of the UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNTDG) to prepare and introduce relevant additions to the Orange Book (Recommendations of UN Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods). According to the activity schedule, the international requirements for tank containers with fiber-reinforced (FRP) shells were expected to be developed for next two years, after that the recommendations will be included in the IMDG Code. The Sub-Committee members expressed complete support for the working group activities.

The above subject was addressed at ITCO Assembly as well. The organization confirmed its willingness to participate in developing the normative requirements for tank containers with fiber-reinforced (FRP) shells.

Among other things, the participants were offered information about the RF proposal to UNTDG as regards performing the strength calculations for tank container vessels. The issues were discussed regarding potential risks associated with misclassification of dangerous goods, corrosion impact on the technical condition of transport equipment, problematic classification of equipment to the requirements of IMDG Code and European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), etc.



Established in 1913, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) is one of the leading classification societies. Recognised by the European Union. Member of IACS. The RS activity is aimed at enhancing high standards of maritime safety and minimising the negative impact of human activities on the environment through scientifically based risk assessment and risk management procedures.

RS HEAD OFFICE: 8, Dvortsovaya Nab., 191186, St.Petersburg, RUSSIA. Tel: +7 (812) 3128878, Fax: +7 (812) 3141087, E-mail: pobox@rs-class.org