Material Safety Data Sheet

Ships carrying oil or oil fuel, as defined in regulation 1 of Marpol Annex I shall be provided with a Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The MSDS should be hand out to the crew of the seagoing vessel prior to the loading of such oil as cargo in bulk or bunkering of oil fuel. An employee of the terminal or a crewmember of the bunkerbarge can provide a MSDS.

The aim of the MSDS is to provide seafarers with clear, concise and accurate information on health and the environmental effects of toxic substances.

The manufacturer of the product, cargo or bunker, will need to draw up the MSDS. In case it concerns bunkers, the bunker company can draw up the MSDS. The Guidelines has been developed by the IMO for the completion of MSDS for the MARPOL Annex I type oil as cargo in bulk and oil fuel, in a resolution. The resolution is not yet available in electronic format.

The rules require the MSDS to detail the full identification of the substance and the supplier, identification of hazards, composition of the substance and first-aid measures. It further provides information on fire fighting, accidental release, handling and storage, exposure, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity, toxicology, ecological considerations, disposal, transport and regulatory information.

The MSDS also contains information on the content of benzene, hydrogen sulphide and total sulphur plus appearance, odour, pour-point, boiling range, flashpoint, flammability limits, vapour pressure, vapour density, density, auto-ignition temperature and kinematic viscosity must also be included, and a declaration relating to persistent or non persistent oil.

The reported items do not need to be an exact analysis of the actual parcel supplied but must be representative of the product as manufactured by the supplier, although this has still to be confirmed by IMO.

The compulsory MSDS follows from the entry into force of the revised SOLAS chapter VI regulation 5-1.