A new Bauxite circular warning about a new hazard of these cargoes relating to moisture has been issued by the IMO following the meeting held by its Sub-committee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) last week. This new IMO bauxite circular supersedes CCC.1/Circ.2 and issues new guidance on the carriage of bauxite cargoes.
Following the 4th meeting of CCC4 held last week, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a revised bauxite circular CCC. 1/circ. 2/Rev.1, informing the shipping community of new information received as a result of the research done by the Global Bauxite Working Group (GBWG).
Based on their research, a new hazard called dynamic separation process (DSP), a moisture-related instability phenomenon, has found to be cause for bauxite cargoes to significantly affect the ship's stability. This DSP will cause a liquid slurry ( water and fine solids) to form above the solid material, resulting in a free surface effect which will reduce the ship's stability. An atypical motion of the ship which the GBWG calls the "wobbling" effect is an indicator of this cargo's instability. If unchecked, this will have the potential to reduce the ship's stability and risk of capsizing. This DSP will occur if the cargo is shipped at a moisture content above its transportable moisture limit (TML).
The revised bauxite circular informs the shipping community, based on the GBWG's recommendations and CCC's decisions, to incorporate the following to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code under Amendment 05-19:
- Bauxite cargoes can present a risk that is caused by moisture
- A new draft test procedure for determing the TML of bauxite cargoes using the Proctor/Fagerberg method
- A new draft Group A bauxite schedule called "Bauxite fines" with a specified particle size distribution to qualify as Group A and the qualified exemption for it to be Group C cargoes. Group A bauxite cargoes will have to be carried in accordance with section 1.3 of the IMSBC Code as it is still a cargo that is not listed in the said Code
- Draft amendment to the existing Group C bauxite schedule .
Members are strongly advised to follow the guidance in the revised bauxite circular when contemplating or shipping bauxite cargoes with a caveat that the above-mentioned are only draft amendments. These draft amendments await finalisation for incorporation into the Amendment 05-19 of the IMSBC Code, which would have to be formally approved and adopted at the IMO Maritime Safety Committee Meeting in 2019. Once adopted, these amendments are expected to enter into force only on 1 January 2021.
For informaton on the current requirements of Group C bauxite, please go to our online solid cargo database on group C bauxite.
The BIMCO basic IMSBC Code step-by-step user chart guide is also updated to take into account of the new circular that will supersede CCC.1/circ.1.