Rate this article:  

Table of contents

Gard Guidance Masters FUMIGATION

A. General
Fumigation may be required should an infestation be found anywhere on the vessel.

It may be necessary to fumigate the cargo in the vessel’s holds, either prior to or after loading, to prevent an infestation or deterioration of the cargo.

If fumigation of the cargo spaces and/or cargoes takes place, the Master is advised to strictly adhere to the IMO Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides on Ships and the procedures under the vessel’s SMS, which contain detailed advice on
  • regulations for the use of pesticides
  • safety precautions
  • first aid and special medical treatment emergency procedures
  • types of fumigants
  • methods of fumigation.

    The Master should be aware that he/she has the absolute discretion as to
  • whether or not a vessel or cargo is to be fumigated
  • the manner in which the fumigation is performed
  • whether or not to permit in transit fumigation.

    Prior to any fumigation being carried out, which the Master is best advised to leave to professional personnel from ashore, large warning signs must be displayed in prominent places clearly indicating that the vessel is under fumigation and toxic gases are in use.

    A gangway guard should be maintained to prevent access to the vessel whilst under fumigation.

    B. Fumigation using ventilation in port
    Fumigation of cargo spaces using ventilation should always be carried out in port and the vessel should not be permitted to leave without a gas-free certificate. The crew should

  • be landed ashore prior to the commencement of fumigation
  • only be allowed to return after authorised personnel have issued a gas-free certificate.

    A gangway guard should be maintained during the fumigation to prevent access to the vessel whilst under fumigation.

    C. Fumigation in transit
    For details please refer to Gard News 173, In-transit fumigation of bulk cargoes.

    Wherever possible, the Master should try to avoid fumigation in transit as this may pose an unnecessary threat to the crew’s health.

    Fumigation in transit is at the sole discretion of the Master. The Master should consult the flag State administration regarding any regulatory requirements as well as the IMO Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships and the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code). Section 3, Safety of Personnel and Ship and Section 6, Grain under in transit Fumigation, contain detailed advice as to the methods of fumigation and any safety precautions to be taken.

    Prior to arrival in a port the Master should notify the harbour master and any other appropriate authorities that fumigation of the cargo has taken place in transit. The Master should ensure that the vessel’s holds and its cargo are gas free upon berthing of the vessel. The entry into enclosed spaces procedures must be followed – please see section Entry into enclosed spaces.