OSV Chemical Code Implementation

28 August 2018 |  C18040

The “Code for the transport and handling of Hazardous and Noxious Liquid substances in Bulk on offshore vessels” has been adopted by the Assembly though A.1122(30) and Governments were invited to implement from July 01, 2018.

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Flag State Administrations | Surveyors / Auditors

The Assembly on December 06, 2017, adopted Resolution A.1122(30), “The Code for the transport and handling of Hazardous and Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk on offshore support vessels (OSV Chemical Code)”. The Resolution supersedes Resolution A.673(16), Guidelines for Transport and handling of limited amounts of hazards and Noxious Liquid Substances in Bulk on offshore support vessels (LHNS Guidelines).

The Resolution invited Governments to take action to implement the OSV Chemical Code from 1 July 2018.

Offshore support vessels (OSVs) are:

  1. multi-mission vessels which are primarily engaged in the transport of stores, materials and equipment to and from mobile offshore drilling units, fixed and floating platforms and other similar offshore installations; or
  2. multi-mission vessels, including well-stimulation vessels, but excluding mobile offshore drilling units, derrick barges, pipe-laying barges and floating accommodation units, which are otherwise primarily engaged in supporting the work of offshore installations.


The OSV Chemical Code applies to Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) engaged in the carriage of the products identified in the following products regardless of size or voyage.

The present Code should also apply when the below cargoes are part of a blending or production process of cargoes used in the search for and exploitation of seabed mineral resources on board vessels used to facilitate such operations.

Unless expressly provided otherwise, the Code applies to OSVs the keels of which are laid or which, on or after 1 July 2018, are at the stage where:

  1. construction identifiable with the vessel begins; and
  2. assembly has commenced comprising at least 50 tonnes or 1% of the estimated mass of all structural material, whichever is less.

Existing OSVs the keel of which were laid or which were at a similar stage of construction on or after 19 April 1990 and before the date specified above may be permitted to carry products as assigned for carriage on a type 2 ship in the IBC Code, provided that those OSVs comply with the Code, except for the stability provisions in chapter 2 of the Code, and subject to the satisfaction of the Administration.

A vessel, irrespective of the date of construction, which is converted for the carriage of bulk liquids subject to the present Code on or after the date specified above should be treated as a vessel constructed on the date on which such conversion commences. An OSV which transports a cargo subject to the Code and undergoes modification for the transport of additional cargoes falling under the Code should not be considered as a vessel which has undergone a conversion.

The Code applies only in the case of bulk carriage involving transfer of the cargo to or from its containment which forms part of the vessel or remains on board.

The Code applies in addition to the Guidelines for the design and construction of offshore supply vessels (resolution MSC.235(82)), as amended.


The following products may be carried subject to the Code:

  • products which are listed in chapters 17 or 18 of the IBC Code and the latest edition of the MEPC.2/Circular (Provisional categorization of liquid substances in accordance with MARPOL Annex II and the IBC Code) and their related references to chapters 15 and 19; or
  • oil-based/water-based mud containing mixtures of products listed in chapters 17 and 18 of the IBC Code and the MEPC.2 Circular; or
  • liquid carbon dioxide (high purity and reclaimed quality) and liquid nitrogen; or
  • contaminated backloads.

For a product proposed for carriage in bulk, but not listed in chapters 17 or 18 of the IBC Code, the Administration and port Administrations involved in such carriage should prescribe the suitable preliminary conditions for the carriage, having regard to the criteria for hazard evaluation of bulk chemicals. For the evaluation of the pollution hazard of such a product and assignment of its pollution category, the procedure specified in regulation 6.3 of MARPOL Annex II should be followed.

Surveys and certification

Following a satisfactory initial survey of an OSV, Dromon shall issue a certificate, suitably endorsed to certify compliance with the provisions of the Code. The certificate shall indicate the cargoes regulated by the Code that the vessel is permitted to carry with any relevant carriage conditions and should have a period of validity not exceeding five years.

The certificate issued under the Code shall have the same force and receive the same recognition as the certificate issued under regulation 7 of MARPOL Annex II and regulations VII/10 and VII/13 of SOLAS.

The validity of the certificate should be subject to the renewal, intermediate, annual and additional surveys required by the IBC Code, the IGC Code and MARPOL Annex II.

The International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) has implemented the Code and has delegated the survey and issuance of the Certificate of Fitness under the OSV Chemical Code to its Recognised Organisations and therefore, DromonClass.

Act now

Shipowners / Managers / Operators of Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) should take into consideration the adopted Code and proceed with surveys and certification based on the Code for their OSVs.

Share this post:

Related Posts