IGC Code: International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk, 2016 Edition (eBook) (KA104E)

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May 2016

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IGC Code: International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk, 2016 Edition (eBook) (KA104E)

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The purpose of this Code is to provide an international standard for the safe carriage, by sea in bulk, of liquefied gases and certain other substances that are listed in chapter 19. Through consideration of the products carried, it prescribes the design and construction standards of the ships involved and the equipment they should carry to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment.

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At its forty-eighth session (June 1983), the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the International Maritime Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), by resolution MSC.6(48).


The amendments consisted of complete replacement texts of chapters III and VII and changes in chapters II -1, II -2 and IV.


The new chapter VII made the provisions of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), which was adopted by resolution MSC.5(48), mandatory under the 1974 SOLAS Convention.


The new 2016 edition of the IG C Code incorporates the amendments adopted by the MSC at its ninety-third session (May 2014) by resolution MSC.370(93). These amendments, which entered into force on 1 January 2016, consist of a complete replacement text of the IGC Code.


Unless expressly provided otherwise, the requirements of the IGC Code, as amended by resolution MSC.370(93), apply to ships whose keels are laid, or which are at a similar stage of construction, on or after 1 July 2016.


For ships constructed on or after 1 July 1986 and before 1 July 2016, unless expressly provided otherwise, the Administration shall ensure that such ships comply with the requirements which are applicable under the IGC Code, as adopted by resolution MSC.5(48) and as amended by resolutions MSC.17(58), MSC.30(61), MSC.32(63), MSC.59(67), MSC.103(73), MSC.177(79) and MSC.220(82).



Resolution MSC.5(48)

Resolution MSC.370(93)


Chapter 1 General

1.1 Application and implementation

1.2 Definitions

1.3 Equivalents

1.4 Surveys and certification


Chapter 2 Ship survival capability and location of cargo tanks

2.1 General

2.2 Freeboard and stability

2.3 Damage assumptions

2.4 Location of cargo tanks

2.5 Flood assumptions

2.6 Standard of damage

2.7 Survival requirements


Chapter 3 Ship arrangements

3.1 Segregation of the cargo area

3.2 Accommodation, service and machinery spaces and control stations

3.3 Cargo machinery spaces and turret compartments

3.4 Cargo control rooms

3.5 Access to spaces in the cargo area

3.6 Airlocks

3.7 Bilge, ballast and oil fuel arrangements

3.8 Bow and stern loading and unloading arrangements


Chapter 4 Cargo containment

4.1 Definitions

4.2 Application

Part A Cargo containment

4.3 Functional requirements

4.4 Cargo containment safety principles

4.5 Secondary barriers in relation to tank types

4.6 Design of secondary barriers

4.7 Partial secondary barriers and primary barrier small leak protection system

4.8 Supporting arrangements

4.9 Associated structure and equipment

4.10 Thermal insulation

Part B Design loads

4.11 General

4.12 Permanent loads

4.13 Functional loads

4.14 Environmental loads

4.15 Accidental loads

Part C Structural integrity

4.16 General

4.17 Structural analyses

4.18 Design conditions

Part D Materials and construction

4.19 Materials

4.20 Construction processes

Part E Tank types

4.21 Type A independent tanks

4.22 Type B independent tanks

4.23 Type C independent tanks

4.24 Membrane tanks

4.25 Integral tanks

4.26 Semi-membrane tanks

Part F Cargo containment systems of novel configuration

4.27 Limit state design for novel concepts

Part G Guidance

4.28 Guidance notes for chapter 4


Chapter 5 Process pressure vessels and liquids, vapour and pressure piping systems

5.1 General

5.2 System requirements

5.3 Arrangements for cargo piping outside the cargo area

5.4 Design pressure

5.5 Cargo system valve requirements

5.6 Cargo transfer arrangements

5.7 Installation requirements

5.8 Piping fabrication and joining details

5.9 Welding, post-weld heat treatment and non-destructive testing

5.10 Installation requirements for cargo piping outside the cargo area

5.11 Piping system component requirements

5.12 Materials

5.13 Testing requirements


Chapter 6 Materials of construction and quality control

6.1 Definitions

6.2 Scope and general requirements

6.3 General test requirements and specifications

6.4 Requirements for metallic materials

6.5 Welding of metallic materials and non-destructive testing

6.6 Other requirements for construction in metallic materials

6.7 Non-metallic materials


Chapter 7 Cargo pressure/temperature control

7.1 Methods of control

7.2 Design of systems

7.3 Reliquefaction of cargo vapours

7.4 Thermal oxidation of vapours

7.5 Pressure accumulation systems

7.6 Liquid cargo cooling

7.7 Segregation

7.8 Availability


Chapter 8 Vent systems for cargo containment

8.1 General

8.2 Pressure relief systems

8.3 Vacuum protection systems

8.4 Sizing of pressure relieving system


Chapter 9 Cargo containment system atmosphere control

9.1 Atmosphere control within the cargo containment system

9.2 Atmosphere control within the hold spaces (cargo containment systems other than type C independent tanks)

9.3 Environmental control of spaces surrounding type C independent tanks

9.4 Inerting

9.5 Inert gas production on board


Chapter 10 Electrical installations

10.1 Definitions

10.2 General requirements


Chapter 11 Fire protection and extinction

11.1 Fire safety requirements

11.2 Fire mains and hydrants

11.3 Water-spray system

11.4 Dry chemical powder fire-extinguishing systems

11.5 Enclosed spaces containing cargo handling equipment

11.6 Firefighter’s outfits


Chapter 12 Artificial ventilation in the cargo area

12.1 Spaces required to be entered during normal cargo handling operations

12.2 Spaces not normally entered


Chapter 13 Instrumentation and automation systems

13.1 General

13.2 Level indicators for cargo tanks

13.3 Overflow control

13.4 Pressure monitoring

13.5 Temperature indicating devices

13.6 Gas detection

13.7 Additional requirements for containment systems requiring a secondary barrier

13.8 Automation system

13.9 System integration


Chapter 14 Personnel protection

14.1 Protective equipment

14.2 First-aid equipment

14.3 Safety equipment

14.4 Personal protection requirements for individual products


Chapter 15 Filling limits for cargo tanks

15.1 Definitions

15.2 General requirements

15.3 Default filling limit

15.4 Determination of increased filling limit

15.5 Maximum loading limit

15.6 Information to be provided to the master


Chapter 16 Use of cargo as fuel

16.1 General

16.2 Use of cargo vapour as fuel

16.3 Arrangement of spaces containing gas consumers

16.4 Gas fuel supply

16.5 Gas fuel plant and related storage tanks

16.6 Special requirements for main boilers

16.7 Special requirements for gas-fired internal combustion engines

16.8 Special requirements for gas turbine

16.9 Alternative fuels and technologies


Chapter 17 Special requirements

17.1 General

17.2 Materials of construction

17.3 Independent tanks

17.4 Refrigeration systems

17.5 Cargoes requiring type 1G ship

17.6 Exclusion of air from vapour spaces

17.7 Moisture control

17.8 Inhibition

17.9 Flame screens on vent outlets

17.10 Maximum allowable quantity of cargo per tank

17.11 Cargo pumps and discharge arrangements

17.12 Ammonia

17.13 Chlorine

17.14 Ethylene oxide

17.15 Separate piping systems

17.16 Methyl acetylene-propadiene mixtures

17.17 Nitrogen

17.18 Propylene oxide and mixtures of ethylene oxide-propylene oxide with ethylene oxide content of not more than 30% by weight

17.19 Vinyl chloride

17.20 Mixed C4 cargoes

17.21 Carbon dioxide: high purity

17.22 Carbon dioxide: reclaimed quality


Chapter 18 Operating requirements

18.1 General

18.2 Cargo operations manuals

18.3 Cargo information

18.4 Suitability for carriage

18.5 Carriage of cargo at low temperature

18.6 Cargo transfer operations

18.7 Personnel training

18.8 Entry into enclosed spaces

18.9 Cargo sampling

18.10 Cargo emergency shutdown (ESD) system

18.11 Hot work on or near cargo containment systems

18.12 Additional operating requirements


Chapter 19 Summary of minimum requirements


Appendix 1 IGC Code Product Data Reporting Form

Appendix 2 Model form of International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk

Appendix 3 Example of an addendum to the International Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Liquefied Gases in Bulk

Appendix 4 Non-metallic materials

Appendix 5 Standard for the use of limit state methodologies in the design of cargo containment systems of novel configuration

A​​s a specialized 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: IGC Code: International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk, 2016 Edition (eBook) (KA104E)
Edition: 2016
Number of Pages: 183
Product Code: MM1409EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 9789280116311, ISBN 10: 9280116312
Published Date: May 2016
Author: IMO

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