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Dangerous Goods-4 (Packaging and segregation)

Q. How do you ensure that a freight container or a pallet is suitably packaged?
Ans. One of the most important of the documents on dangerous goods is the certificate or declaration that the shipment offered for carriage is properly packaged and marked, labeled or placarded, as appropriate, and is in proper condition for carriage. This is duly done in respect of a freight container also. The people responsible for the packing of dangerous goods in a freight container or road vehicle shall provide a signed container packing certificate or vehicle packing declaration stating that the cargo in the unit has been properly packed and secured meeting the transport requirements.

Q. What would you do if such certificate is not available?
Ans. Where there is a cause to suspect that a freight container or road vehicle in which dangerous goods are packed is not in compliance with above stated requirements, or where a container-packing certificate or vehicle packing declaration is not available, the freight container or vehicle shall not be accepted for shipment.

Q. Write a short note on packing requirements as per the IMDG Code.
Ans. Column 5 contains the packing group number (i.e. I, II or III) where assigned to the substance or article. If more than one packing group is indicated for the entry, the packing group of the substance to be transported shall be determined, based on its properties and through the hazard grouping criteria.   

For packing purposes, substances other than those of classes 1, 2, 5.2, 6.2 and 7, and other than self-reactive substances of class 4.1, are assigned to three packing groups in accordance with the degree of danger they present:

Packing group I: substances presenting high danger;
Packing group II: substances presenting medium danger; and
Packing group III: substances presenting low danger.

All packagings intended to carry dangerous goods in transport must be certified to meet the United Nations performance requirement. Packing instructions are available from column 8. This column contains alpha-numeric codes which refer to the relevant packing instruction(s) in 4.1.4. A code including the letter “P” refers to packing instructions for the use of packagings. The details are described in chapters 6.1, 6.2 or 6.3, which also deal with the construction, strength and testing criteria.

A code including the letters “LP” refers to packing instructions for the use of large packagings described in chapter 6.6. When a code including the letter(s) “P” or “LP” is not provided, it means that the substance is not allowed in that type of packaging. A code including the letters “BP” refers to packing instructions for the use of bulk packagings described in Chapter 4.3.

When “N/R” is included in this column it means that the substance or article need not be packaged.

Column 9 is special packing provisions. This column contains alpha-numeric codes which refer to the relevant special packing provisions specified in 4.1.4. The special packing provisions indicate the packagings (including large packagings).

From chapter 4.1.4

Following is part of the same table i.e.P130.

From chapter 6.1
The following numerals shall be used for the kinds of packaging: 1 Drum 2 [Reserved] 3 Jerrican 4 Box ….etc.

The following capital letters shall be used for the types of material: A Steel B Aluminium C Natural wood …..etc. Steel, aluminium or other metal boxes
4A steel boxes
4B aluminium boxes
4N metal, other than steel or aluminium, boxes The strength of the metal and the construction of the box shall be appropriate to the capacity of the box and to its intended use. Boxes shall be lined with fibreboard or felt packing pieces or shall have an inner liner or coating of suitable material, as required. If a double-seamed metal liner is used, steps shall be taken to prevent the ingress of substances, particularly explosives, into the recesses of the seams. Closures may be of any suitable type; they shall remain secured under normal conditions of transport. Maximum net mass: 400 kg.

Following excerpt is from 4.1.4

Following is the part of the same table: Specific provisions for metal large packagings 50A steel 50B aluminium 50N metal (other than steel or aluminium) The large packaging shall be made of suitable ductile metal in which the weldability has been fully demonstrated. Welds shall be skillfully made and afford complete safety. Low-temperature performance shall be taken into account when appropriate.

Following is from chapter 6.1

Drop test
Drop height for solids and liquids, if the test is performed with the solid or liquid to be carried or with another substance having essentially the same physical characteristics:

Leakproofness test
The leakproofness test shall be performed on all design types of packagings intended to contain liquids; however, this test is not required for the inner packagings of combination packagings.

Q. What is Inner packagings?
Ans. Inner packagings means packagings for which an outer packaging is required for transport.

Q. What is the provision in respect of Segregation?
Ans. Regulation 6.1 of part A of chapter VII, SOLAS, deals with segregation. The provisions regarding segregation apply to all cargo spaces on deck or under deck of all types of ships and to cargo transport units. Two articles packages or substances must be segregated when their stowage together may result in undue hazards in case of leakage or spillage, or any other accident, during the handling, carriage, etc. Seggregtion is inter class, rather than intra class as is in case of compatibility. Segregation is obtained by maintaining certain distances between incompatible dangerous goods or by requiring the presence of one or more steel bulkheads or decks between them, or a combination thereof. There is no restriction about filling up intermediate space by some neutral cargo.  The following segregation table and associated terms and drawings explain the concept:

The numbers in the segregation table represent:
     1 – away from
     2 – separated from
     3 – separated by a complete compartment or hold
     4 – separated longitudinally by an intervening complete compartment
          or hold.
     X – Dangerous Goods List (DGL) must be consulted to identify any specific segregation provisions. IMDG Code must be seen for segregation provisions between Class 1 substances and articles.

Q. What do the alphabets and alphanumeric groups written in column 16a and 16b indicate?

Following excerpts are from chapter 7.1

Stowage categories for class 1
Dangerous goods of class 1 other than division 1.4, compatibility group S, packed in limited quantities shall be stowed as indicated in column 16a of the Dangerous Goods List in accordance with one of the categories 01 to 05

Stowage categories for classes 2 to 9
Dangerous goods of classes 2 to 9 and division 1.4, compatibility group S, packed in limited quantities shall be stowed as indicated in column 16a of the Dangerous Goods List in accordance with one of the categories specified below:

Stowage Codes
The Stowage codes given in column 16a of the Dangerous Goods List are as specified below:

Following exerpt is from chapter 7.2.

Q. What is Composite packaging?
Ans. Composite packagings means packagings consisting of an outer packaging and an inner receptacle so constructed that the inner receptacle and the outer packaging form an integral packaging. Once assembled, it remains thereafter an integrated single unit; it is filled, stored, transported and emptied as such.

Q. What are large packagings?
Ans. Large packagings means packagings consisting of an outer packaging which contains articles or inner packagings and which:
1 are designed for mechanical handling; and
2 exceed 400 kg net mass or 450 litre capacity but have a volume of not more than 3 m3.

Q. What are the general provisions for the packing of dangerous goods, other than goods of classes 2, 6.2 or 7, in packagings, including Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) and large packagings?
Ans. Chapter 4.1 deals with this subject.

Where necessary, they shall be provided with a suitable inner coating or treatment.

Additional general provisions for the use of IBCs

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