The carriage of seed cakes in containers continues to prove a challenge for many shipowners, in particular when such cargoes are not declared properly leading to the potential risk of fire onboard ships.

Seed cakes are classified as dangerous cargoes under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods ( IMDG) Code and identified as IMDG Code Class 4.2 substances, i.e., substances capable of spontaneous ignition and carrying UN numbers 1386 and 2217.

It appears from the latest report by Gard P&I club that fire casualties in containers carrying seed cakes continue to escalate due to mis-declaration of these cargoes. BIMCO would like to take the opportunity to remind owners and ship operators that the carriage of seed cakes must comply with the requirements of the IMDG code. In order to improve safety for the ship and crew and create awareness of container transport of these cargoes, BIMCO would urge owners and ship operators to refer to the joint-industry guidelines issued by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) and the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG). The guidelines is recommended for practical guidance to supplement compliance with the IMDG Code requirements when carrying seed cakes in containers.