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Statutory Alert: Amendments to the IBC Code – replacement of existing certificates


Applicability: all owners and technical managers of chemical tankers, and other vessels with Noxious Liquid Substances Certificates.

Amendments to the IBC Code, adopted by IMO Resolutions MSC.460(101) and MEPC.318(74), enter into force on 1 January 2021.

The amendments to the code mean that the criteria for assigning carriage requirements for all products have been reassessed. These amendments may result in change of ship type, tank type and other carriage requirements for some cargoes (e.g. some products currently categorised as non-toxic cargoes become toxic cargoes). As a result, the range of products a ship is certified to carry will differ before and after 1 January 2021.

The amendments apply to new and existing vessels that have IBC Code Certificates of Fitness or Noxious Liquid Substances Certificates. Also affected are offshore supply vessels with Certificates of Fitness in compliance with the ‘LHNS Guidelines’ (IMO Res. A.673(16)) or ‘OSV Chemical Code’ (IMO Res. A.1122(30)).

New certificates complying with these amendments must be on board from 1 January 2021. All cargo loading after this date must be in accordance with the new certificates. When a cargo is loaded before 1 January 2021, and unloaded after this date, the relevant IBC Code provisions at the time of loading should apply until the cargo has been unloaded.

Issue of revised certificates.

MSR will start issuing revised certificates with immediate effect. These will have the same expiry date as the existing certificates and will supersede them on 1 January 2021. The existing certificates must be retained until 1 January 2021.

Both certificates will be endorsed by our surveyors during any periodical surveys carried out before 1 January 2021.

This is important as the range of products permitted to be carried from 1 January 2021 will be defined by the new Certificate of Fitness/Noxious Liquid Substances Certificate.


NOTE: Amendments to MARPOL Annex II, including P&A Manuals, also come into effect on 1 January 2021.