Can a ship load bulk grain without Documents of Authorization as per Grain Code? If Yes, under what condition?

Written by Amit Sharma

A ship not having onboard a document of authorization issued in accordance with Grain  Code & still want to load grain cargo may be permitted to load bulk grain but then it needs to fulfil certain criterias which is as follows:

  1. The total weight of the bulk grain shall not exceed one third of the deadweight of the ship;
  2. All filled compartments, trimmed, shall be fitted with centreline divisions extending, for the full length of such compartments, downwards from the underside of the deck or hatch covers to a distance below the deck line of at least one eighth of the maximum breadth of the compartment or 2.4 m, whichever is the greater, except that saucers constructed in accordance with Grain code  may be accepted in lieu of a centreline division in and beneath a hatchway except in the case of linseed and other seeds having similar properties;
  3. All hatches to filled compartments, trimmed, shall be closed and covers secured in place;
  4.  All free grain surfaces in partly filled cargo space shall be trimmed level and secured in accordance with grain code;
  5. Throughout the voyage the metacentric height after correction for the free surface effects of liquids in tanks shall be 0.3 m or that given by the following  formula, whichever is the greater:

 GMR = L B Vd (0.25 B – 0.645 × square root of Vd B)/ SF x Δ x 0.0875


L =total combined length of all full compartments (metres)
B = moulded breadth of the vessel (metres)
SF = stowage factor (cubic metres per tonne)
Vd = calculated average void depth calculated in accordance with B 1 (metres-Note:not millimetres)
D = displacement (tonnes);

  1. The master demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administration or the Contracting Government of the port of loading on behalf of the Administration that the ship in its proposed loaded condition will comply with the requirements of this section.

A ship without such a document shall not load grain until the master satisfies the Administration, or the Contracting Government of the port of loading on behalf of the Administration,that the ship will comply with the requirements of the International Grain Code in its proposed loaded condition.

Note :-

This Code applies to ships regardless of size, including those of less than 500 tons gross tonnage, engaged in the carriage of grain in bulk, to which part C of chapter VI of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, applies.
The term grain covers wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and processed forms thereof, whose behavior is similar to that of grain in its natural state.
For the purpose of this Code, the expression “ships constructed” means “ships the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction”.
The term filled compartment, trimmed, refers to any cargo space in which, after loading and trimming as required under grain code, the bulk grain is at its highest possible level
The term filled compartment, untrimmed, refers to a cargo space which is filled to the maximum extent possible in way of the hatch opening but which has not been trimmed outside the periphery of the hatch opening either by the provisions of grain code  for all ships or  for specially suitable compartments.
The term partly filled compartment refers to any cargo space wherein the bulk grain is not loaded in the manner prescribed in grain code i.e(neither filled compartment, trimmed nor filled compartment , untrimmed).

Documents of Authorization as per Grain code :-

A document of authorization shall be issued for every ship loaded in accordance with the regulations of grain  Code either by the Administration or an organization recognized by it or by a Contracting Government on behalf of the Administration. It shall be accepted as evidence that the ship is capable of complying with the requirements of these regulations.
The document shall accompany or be incorporated into the grain loading manual provided to enable the master to meet the requirements.
Such a document, grain loading stability data and associated plans may be drawn up in the official language or languages of the issuing country. If the language used is neither English nor French, the text shall include a translation into one of these languages.
A ship without such a document of authorization shall not load grain until the master demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administration, or of the Contracting Government of the port of loading acting on behalf of the Administration, that, in its loaded condition for the intended voyage, the ship complies with the requirements of grain Code.

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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