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Design & Construction, Machinery & Operations


INTERCARGO monitors the development of rules and guidelines  for bulk carriers and associated on-board equipment  on a continuous basis. INTERCARGO takes an active role at IMO and works closely with Industry partners such as IACS on the development and maintenance of these rules.

Class and Statutory Rules

The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, in 2016, confirmed that IACS’ Common Structural Rules for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers (CSR) conformed with SOLAS Regulation II-1/3- 10 Goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers and thus provide a defined minimum level of safety in terms of design and construction.

Part of the maintenance and further development of the CSR includes periodic rule changes that usually occur yearly and INTERCARGO takes an active role in the rule change process. Prior to making any rule change, IACS releases Rule Change Proposals for Industry review. For the last several years INTERCARGO has performed an in-depth review of the Rule Change Proposals and provided feedback to IACS, with the last review having taken place over the Spring/Summer of 2022. Key elements that INTERCARGO appraises include, maintaining minimum safety requirements and compliance with SOLAS.

In addition to involvement with the CSR, INTERCARGO’s Secretariat and members of the Management Committee sit on a number of the individual Class Societies committees and provide input to other Class Rules related to the design and construction of ships with an emphasis on those matters related to bulkers

Cargo Gear

INTERCARGO is concerned  that some of the onboard cranes now being supplied are not suitable for purpose and thus  stresses the importance of good design, fabrication  and construction of cargo gear and onboard cranes. More coming soon.

Hatch Covers

Hatch covers perform the vital role of preventing water from entering the cargo holds and thus protect the cargo.  The updates on this page provide information from various sources including manufacturers and P&I Clubs

Loading Rates

INTERCARGO members have experienced increased pressure to load vessels quickly and this has escalated with the increased demand for commodities and the commercial pressure to maximise terminal throughput.

INTERCARGO conducted a survey of ships’ masters to determine the areas of concern, two main areas were identified:

  1. the implied arrival condition required to meet onerous loading requirements and its detrimental effect on manoeuvrability; and
  2. the consequences for the structural integrity of the ship.

INTERCARGO will engage with all stakeholders including owners and operators, terminals, classification societies, shippers, flag administrations, and insurers to ensure a common understanding of this issue. The aim is to ensure that all bulk carriers are loaded safety in an appropriate manner, taking into account the capabilities of the ship, in accordance with international regulation.