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IMO/ILO/UNECE to update Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units

Published: 04 October 2011

Geneva

On 6 and 7 October, a newly created group of experts will meet to begin updating the 1997 IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units, to reflect the latest information, best practices and requirements. UNECE will host the first meeting.

Around 80 per cent of goods in international trade are transported by sea; and over the last two decades, containerized cargo in the maritime sector increased more than fivefold. Following inter-secretariat consultations in the recent years,  the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) have set up this group of experts to urgently provide the transport sector with  an updated set of international guidelines . If cargo is poorly packed, or if there is no proper blocking, bracing and securing, personnel can get injured and equipment can be damaged. Everybody working in the transport chain is at risk—vehicle drivers, rail workers, crew members, staff at inland terminals, dockers and persons who unpack units.

The guidelines include practical measures for ensuring that cargo is stowed safely, not just in containers but also in road vehicles and railway wagons. The measures apply to transport operations by sea and all land modes, i.e. to the entire intermodal transport chain. Secondly, they cover safe handling, securing and receiving of cargo transport units and include provisions on training.

Parties involved in the revision of the guidelines are workers and employers in the supply chain, governmental bodies and NGOs, and service providers such as insurance companies. IMO has already started working on this and revised the section relating to dangerous goods. Its Maritime Safety Committee approved the revision in 2010. 

The group will meet three times in 2012, with a view to finalize their work by the end of the year. Once the revision has been completed, the three organizations will adopt the revised guidelines in the form of a Code of Practice.

The agenda and documents for the first session of the group of experts are available at http://live.unece.org/trans/wp24/guidelinespackingctus/documents.html

For further information, please contact:

Valerie Blanchard
Associate Economic Affairs Officer, Sustainable Transport Section
or
Martin Magold
Chief, Sustainable Transport Section
UNECE Transport Division
Phone: +41 (0)22 917 24 01
Email: wp.24@unece.org


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