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Transportable Moisture Limit

Liquefaction risk and cargo instability

Transportable Moisture Limit this is the maximum moisture content of a cargo that is
considered safe for transportation in ships. It is calculated as 90 per cent of the Flow Moisture
Point (FMP). If the cargo is assessed as having higher moisture content, it is strongly
recommended that the cargo should not be transported unless the vessel is specially built or
The decision on whether or not to load and transport a cargo is always ultimately that of the
ships master and the port authorities, who may be guided by the results of FMP testing.
Mandatory Requirement : Under the new SOLAS regulation VI/2.2.2, it is mandatory from
January 2011 onward for all ships carrying solid bulk cargoes in general and dangerous solid
bulk cargoes in particular will be required to comply with the new IMSBC Code. The section
4 of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code requires the owners must
have proof of compliance, i.e. that a valid "Document of Compliance for the Carriage of
Dangerous Solid Bulk Cargoes" is available on board.
The IMSBC Code and its content
The format of the IMSBC Code is similar to that of the existing BC Code. Like the BC Code,
the IMSBC Code categorizes cargoes into three groups - A, B and C:
* Group A consists of the cargoes which may liquefy if shipped with moisture content in
excess of their transportable moisture limit.
* Group B consists of cargoes which possess a chemical hazard which could give rise to a
dangerous situation on a ship.
* Group C consists of cargoes which are not liable to liquefy (Group A) and do not possess
chemical hazards (Group B).
For Group A cargoes, i.e. cargoes that may liquefy, it is the appropriate authority or competent
authority in the country of loading/origin that sets out the test procedure for determining the
actual moisture content and TML of such cargoes. Methods for determining TML are given in
Appendix 2 of the IMSBC Code; namely, the flow table test, penetration test and
Proctor/Fagerberg test. The determination of TML shall be conducted within 6 months before
the date of loading of cargo.
Sampling and testing of moisture content of a cargo shall be carried out no more than 7 days
before commencement of actual loading. If there has been rain or snow between the time of

testing and loading, further testing shall be conducted to ensure that the moisture content of
the cargo is still below its certified TML. For various materials, there are recognized
international and national methods for determining their moisture content. Members should
refer to sections (Determination of Moisture content) of Appendix 2 and 4.6 (Sampling
procedures for concentrate stockpiles) of the IMSBC Code for more details