IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Unites (CTU Code), 2014 Edition (KC284E) (eBook)

Published Date

June 2016

IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Unites (CTU Code), 2014 Edition (KC284E) (eBook)

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This publication gives advice on the safe packing, loading and securing of cargo transport units.

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The CTU Code is a guide to the safe loading and securing of cargo transport units. Topics covered include:


  • Key requirements
  • chains of responsibility and information
  • general transport conditions
  • arrival, checking and positioning
  • packing (including the packing of dangerous goods)
  • receipt and unpacking.





Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Definitions

Chapter 3: Key requirements

Chapter 4: Chains of responsibility and information

Chapter 5: General transport conditions

Chapter 6: CTU properties

Chapter 7: CTU suitability

Chapter 8: Arrival, checking and positioning of CTUs

Chapter 9: Packing cargo into CTUs

Chapter 10: Additional advice on the packing of dangerous goods

Chapter 11: On completion of packing

Chapter 12: Advice on receipt and unpacking of CTUs

Chapter 13: Training in packing of CTUs



Annex 1: Information flow

Annex 2: Safe handling of CTUs

Annex 3: Prevention of condensation damages

Annex 4: Approval plates

Annex 5: Receiving CTUs

Annex 6: Minimizing the risk of recontamination

Annex 7: Packing and securing cargo into CTUs

Appendix 1: Packaging marks

Appendix 2 Friction factors

Appendix 3: Practical methods for the determination of the friction factor μ

Appendix 4: Specific packing and securing calculations

Appendix 5: Practical inclination test for determination of the efficiency of cargo securing arrangements

Annex 8: Access to tank and bulk tops, working at height

Annex 9: Fumigation

Annex 10: Topics for consideration in a training programme


Many incidents in transport are attributed to poor practices in the packing of cargo transport units, including inadequate securing of the cargo, overloading, and incorrect declaration of contents. This is of major concern, particularly because the victims may be the general public, or transport and supply chain workers who generally have no control over the packing of such units.


The Code of practice for packing of cargo transport units (CTU Code), a joint publication of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), addresses these concerns through a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of shipping containers for transportation by sea and land.


The CTU Code is an update of the 1997 IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units and was endorsed in 2014 by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, the UNECE Inland Transport Committee and the ILO Governing Body. The revision process took place from 2011 to 2013 under the auspices of a group of experts.


Within the CTU Code, comprehensive information and references on all aspects of loading and securing of cargo in containers and other intermodal transport are provided, taking account of the requirements of all sea and land transport modes. The CTU Code applies to transport operations throughout the entire intermodal transport chain and provides guidance not only to those responsible for packing and securing cargo, but also to those who receive and unpack such units. It also addresses issues such as training, and the packing of dangerous goods.


The CTU Code is intended to assist the industry, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and Governments in training their staff on the safe stowage of cargo in containers. The CTU Code could also be used as a reference resource for national regulations and could become a model for internationally harmonized legislation in this field, should a need for such requirements arise.

As a specialised agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Title: IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Unites (CTU Code), 2014 Edition (KC284E) (eBook)
Edition: 2014
Product Code: MM1411EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280116298, ISBN 10: 9280116290
Published Date: June 2016
Author: IMO

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