How many forms, signatures, approval emails, and other documents have you had to write your name on in some way, shape or form for your shipments? Rhetorical questions – don’t answer that. Summary is, it’s a lot. And we understand that documentation and form-filing isn’t necessarily a “fun” activity when it comes to managing your logistics solutions. However, it’s still very important to keep track of all necessary forms pertaining to a shipment.
When it comes to dangerous goods, there’s no kidding around. There are tons of legal restrictions and requirements around shipping hazardous materials, and for good reason. Any mislabeling, haphazard handling, or lack of precaution can cause hazardous materials to leak and contaminate, or worse, explode during transportation. That’s why the IMO Declaration Form is so important.
Importance of IMO Declaration Form
If you didn’t already know, the “IMO” stands for International Maritime Organization, as this form is dictated as mandatory by them. In essence, the form’s purpose is to clearly define all dangerous goods in a container or shipping on a transportation vessel.
As mentioned before, this is all done to ensure the products are properly handled, stored, and transported. Depending on the type of hazardous materials in a container, it may not be allowed to be stacked or may warrant a certain method of transportation within a port and onto the vessel.
Hazardous materials all pose a certain degree of risk with combustion or contamination, so an IMO form is incredibly important for the safety of other shippers’ products. In the case of a leak, there are better and worse locations for a hazardous material container to be stored. Shipping documentation associated with all containers can notify vessel workers on where dangerous goods need to be placed. Futhermore, the IMO Declaration Form can help vessel workers to avoid putting hazardous material containers together that may react with one another in the instance of a leak.
Lastly, the IMO Declaration Form is used as a form of labeling. Just like a Bill Of Lading, Commercial Invoice, and Packing Slip all serve a sort of “labeling” purpose. The IMO Declaration Form is also used to identify the types and quantities of dangerous goods present in a container.
IMO Declaration Forms are legally required to be filled out and submitted whenever hazardous materials are being shipped via ocean. The International Maritime Organization mandates that the forms be used, and all for good reason. These forms help to clearly label the dangerous goods in a container, which in turn allows vessel workers to handle each container in the appropriate way. This has huge implications on the safety of your and others’ cargo and makes for an overall more efficient, safer shipping process.