DGM Network

Since 1987 taking the danger out of dangerous goods

The Amendment 37-14 to the International Maritime Organization's IMDG Code, which regulates the transportation of dangerous goods by sea, is voluntary to apply since January 1st 2015, and will become mandatory on January 1st 2016. Some of its changes are shared with other modes of transportation, while others are specific to sea transport. This article will highlight the most significant changes introduced in the Amendment 37-14.





Revised definitions or classification criteria have been added for adsorbed gases, radioactive material and lithium batteries.

Viscous flammable liquids with a flashpoint of less than 23 °C may be assigned to packing group III in conformity with the procedures in the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Articles (such as batteries or mercury contained in manufactures articles) are no longer assigned packing groups; instead, requirements for specific packaging performance levels are addressed within the applicable packing instruction.


New and updated entries in the Dangerous Goods List

Several new entries have been added, including UN 3507 Uranium hexafluoride, radioactive material, excepted package, UN 3508 Capacitor, asymmetric and 17 entries for adsorbed gases (for which a new definition is included in Section 3).

 The Proper Shipping Name has been changed for a few entries. For example, air bag inflators, air bag modules and seat belt pretensioners are no longer used as PSN and must be identified as UN 0503 Safety devices, pyrotechnic or UN 3268 Safety devices electrically initiated. Similarly, asbestos-related entries now only have two acceptable PSN: Asbestos, amphibole (UN 2212) or Asbestos, chrysotile (UN 2590).

A new entry has been added for UN 3509, Packaging discarded, empty, uncleaned. This UN exists in other dangerous goods transport regulations, but cannot be used for sea transport.


Marking & Labelling

The dimensions for all labels, placards and marks have been clearly specified. For example, hazard labels must have a square shape with a 100 mm side, and the line inside the edge forming the diamond must be at least 2 mm wide. However, the provisions of the previous Amendment (36-12) of the IMDG Code concerning labels, placards and marks may continue to be applied until December 31st, 2016.

As of January 1st 2016, a new requirement will be added to OVERPACK and SALVAGE markings, which will need to be 12 mm high.



New packing instructions have been added for the new entries in the Dangerous Goods List. Furthermore, some of them have been revised, such as P003, which now includes the criteria under which large fire extinguishers may be transported unpackaged, or P901, which specifies that, if a chemical kits or first aid kit contains only dangerous goods to which no packing group is assigned, packagings shall meet Packing Group II performance level. The list of allowed packagings has also been updated for several other packing instructions.


 Stowage and segregation requirements

The information previously contained in Column 16 has been split into two columns:

  • Column 16a: Stowage and handling
  • Column 16b: Segregation


 These columns show the stowage, handling and segregation codes, with specific provisions that apply to each entry. Their meaning has been specified in three new tables in Part 7. All stowage codes begin with the letters SW; handling codes, with the letter H; and segregation codes, with the letters SG. In the case of conflicting provisions, these ones always take precedence.

A new segregation requirement has been added to the Segregation table: class 2.1 (flammable gases) and class 3 (flammable liquids) must be stowed "separated from" class 4.3 (substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases).


Also, a new specific requirement (which applies mostly to class 4.3) has been added (minimum distance from goods of class 2.1 and 3). It corresponds to segregation code SG26.


 Special provisions

Several special provisions have been added or revised, especially for the new or updated entries in the Dangerous Gods List. Among them, special provision 367 allows the use of a single PSN on the Shipper's Declaration and package markings for packages that contain certain combinations of dangerous goods (paint and printing related material).

Special provisions 376 and 377, respectively, specify the conditions under which damage or defective lithium batteries, or lithium batteries for disposal/recycling, may be transported.


Large salvage packagings

A definition, marking specification and provisions for their performance and frequency of tests have been added for large salvage packagings.



Some lamps are not subject anymore to the IMDG Code, provided that they do not contain radioactive material, don't exceed certain quantities of dangerous goods, and comply with certain managing and packing requirements.

Marine pollutants packed in single or combination packagings containing a net quantity per single or inner packagings of 5 L (liquids) or 5 kg (solids) are not subject to any provisions of IMDG Code other than Chapter 2.10 (Marine pollutants), provided they meet the general packing provisions. However, if a marine pollutant meets the criteria for the inclusion in another hazard class, the requirements relevant to this additional hazard class continue to apply.


Alignment with other regulations

Several changes throughout the Code have been made to provisions concerning radioactive material in order to align to the new provisions in the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2012 edition (SSR-6). Among the additions, we can find special provisions and packing instructions for the newly added entry UN 3507 (Uranium hexafluoride, radioactive material, excepted package), or a new exception for radioactive material in or on a person who is to be transported for medical treatment.

A new paragraph has been added to reference the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), 1972, as amended, regarding the Safety Approval Plate and maintenance and examination of containers.


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