Material Safety Data Sheet
Ships carrying oil as cargo or bunkers fall under Marpol Annex I. They need to carry a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - also called Safety Data Sheet (SDS) - on board. The MSDS provides the crew with information on the health and environmental effects of the harmful substances. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) checks whether the ships has an MSDS on board.
An MSDS is compiled by the manufacturer of the product. If bunkers are involved, the bunkering company may provide the MSDS. The MSDS is handed out to the crew of the seagoing vessel by an employee of the terminal or bunker ship. This is done before they start loading or bunkering the oil.
Information on the MSDS
Resolution MSC.286(86) - Recommendations for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) specifies what information the MSDS must provide. It states:
- Which substance is involved
- The hazards
- The composition of the substance
- First aid measures
- Fire-fighting information
- Accidental release measures
- Handling and storage
- Exposure and personal protection
- Physical and chemical properties
- Stability and reactivity
- Ecological effects
- Other useful information
The MSDS for the IBC Code also contains the following additional information:
- Physical condition, colour, etc.
- Pour point
- Boiling point
- Flash point
- Flammability limits
- Vapour pressure
- Vapour density
- Density and similar mass
- Auto-ignition temperature
- Kinematic viscosity
- A statement on persistent and non-persistent oil.
The analysis of substances need not be an exact analysis of the batch delivered. However, it must be representative of the product delivered. The conditions are still to be defined by the IMO.