image showing IMSBC code

Want to know the IMSBC Code in 5 minutes?

Published: 15 June 2023

How does the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code work? When is it applicable? What are the things you need to look out for in the Code? Find your answers here in our BIMCO basic IMSBC Code Step-by-Step User Chart Guide which gives you a good overview of the requirements of the IMSBC Code.

We often get enquiries from members about the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. Examples are:

  • What are the classification groups?
  • How are grain cargoes classified?
  • What are the IMSBC Code carriage requirements for bagged ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers?
  • What are MHB (materials hazardous only when transported in bulk) and HME (harmful to the marine environment) cargoes?
  • How to use the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name
  • Not finding a cargo in the code.

Some members are new to the code, some are familiar with some but not all requirements, and some need help with the application of the code.

That’s why we have the BIMCO Basic IMSBC Code Step-by-Step user chart guide  which helps you to understand:

  • The Basics
  • IMSBC Code Classification Groups
  • Miscellaneous information such as source of information pertaining to pesticides, fumigation, loading plans

CO2 fire-fighting exemptions and MARPOL Annex V.

Please also see our online BIMCO Solid Bulk Cargo Section to access the BIMCO Solid Bulk Cargo Database, IMSBC Code Amendments, BIMCO exclusive listings of Group A, B, C and A&B cargoes, Liquefaction and Dynamic Separation, dangers associated with certain solid bulk cargoes, general solid bulk cargo information, IMSBC Code circulars, Cargo Enquiries and HME substances and MARPOL Annex V.

We hope this can help to give you a clearer picture but if you are a BIMCO members, please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice and details – we will be more than happy to help.

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen


Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen

Manager, Maritime Information

Copenhagen, Denmark