IMO Classes

The Carriage of dangerous goods and marine pollutants in sea-going ships is respectively regulated in the International Convention for the Safety of the Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

Relevant parts of both SOLAS and MARPOL have been worked out in great detail and are included in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, thus making this Code the legal instrument for maritime transport of dangerous goods and marine pollutants. As of 1st January 2004, the IMDG Code will become a mandatory requirement.

Classification of dangerous goods

For all modes of transport (sea, air, rail, road and inland waterways) the classification (grouping) of dangerous goods, by type of risk involved, has been drawn up by the UNITED NATIONS Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN).

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

Class 6.1

Subclass 6.1: Toxic, poison substances

Connue pour être toxique pour l'homme au point de présenter un danger pour la santé pendant le transport ou est présumée toxique pour l'homme parce qu'elle appartient à une catégorie toxique lorsqu'elle est testée sur des animaux de laboratoire.

An irritating material such as tear gas that causes extreme irritation, especially in confined spaces

Class 6.1

Subclass 6.2: Biohazard

6.2.1 Definitions

Aux fins du présent règlement : Infectious substances are substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens. Pathogens are defined as micro-organisms (including bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites, fungi) and other agents such as prions, which can cause disease in

humains ou animaux.

Note: Toxins from plant, animal or bacterial sources which do not contain any infectious substances or toxins that are not contained in substances which are infectious substances should be considered for classification in Division 6.1 and assigned to UN3172. Biological products are those products derived from living organisms which are manufactured and distributed in accordance with the requirements of appropriate national authorities, which may have special licensing requirements, and are used either for prevention, treatment, or diagnosis of disease in humans or animals, or for development, experimental or investigational purposes related thereto. They include, but are not limited to, finished or unfinished products such as vaccines. Cultures are the result of a process by which pathogens are intentionally. This definition does not include patient specimens as defined in Patient specimens are those collected directly from humans or animals, including, but not limited to, excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluid swabs, and body parts being transported for purposes such as research, diagnosis, investigational activities, disease treatment and prevention. Medical or clinical wastes are wastes derived from the medical treatment of animals or humans or from bio-research.

6.2.2 Classification of Infectious Substances Infectious substances must be classified in Division 6.2 and assigned to UN2814, UN2900, UN 3291 or UN3373, as appropriate. Infectious substances are divided into the following categories. Category A:

Matière infectieuse transportée sous une forme qui, lorsqu'elle est exposée à celle-ci, est susceptible de provoquer une invalidité permanente, une maladie mortelle ou mettant la vie en danger chez des êtres humains ou des animaux autrement sains. Des exemples indicatifs de substances qui répondent à ces critères sont donnés dans le tableau 3.6.D.

Note : Il y a exposition lorsqu'une matière infectieuse est libérée à l'extérieur de l'emballage protecteur, entraînant un contact physique avec des humains ou des animaux.

a) Les matières infectieuses répondant à ces critères qui causent des maladies chez l'homme ou à la fois chez l'homme et chez l'animal doivent être affectées au numéro ONU 2814. Les matières infectieuses qui ne provoquent des maladies que chez les animaux doivent être affectées au numéro ONU 2900.

b) L'affectation aux numéros ONU 2814 ou 2900 doit être fondée sur les antécédents médicaux et les symptômes connus de l'homme ou de l'animal source, sur les conditions locales endémiques ou sur le jugement professionnel concernant la situation particulière de l'homme ou de l'animal source.

Notes :

1. La désignation officielle de transport pour le numéro ONU 2814 est "Matière infectieuse affectant l'homme". La désignation officielle de transport pour le numéro ONU 2900 est la matière infectieuse, qui ne concerne que les animaux.

2. Le tableau suivant n'est pas exhaustif. Les substances infectieuses, y compris les agents pathogènes nouveaux ou émergents, qui n'apparaissent pas dans le tableau, mais qui répondent aux mêmes critères doivent être classées dans la catégorie A. En outre, si l'on doute qu'une substance réponde ou non aux critères, elle doit être incluse dans la catégorie A.

3. Dans la liste suivante, les micro-organismes écrits en italique sont les bactéries, mycoplasmes, rickettsies ou champignons.

Bacillus anthracis (cultures only)
Infectious substance
Brucella abortus (cultures only)
Brucella melitensis (cultures only)
Brucella suis (cultures only)
Burkholderia mallei – Pseudomonas mallei – Glanders (cultures only)
Burkholderia pseudomallei – Pseudomonas pseudomallei (cultures only)
Chlamydia psittaci – avian strains (cultures only)
Clostridium botulinum (cultures only)
Coccidioides immitis (cultures only)
Coxiella burnetii (cultures only)
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus
Dengue virus (cultures only)
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Escherichia coli, verotoxigenic (cultures only)
Ebola virus
Flexal virus
Francisella tularensis (cultures only)
Guanarito virus
Hantaan virus
Hantavirus causing hemorragic fever with renal syndrome
Hendra virus
Hepatitis B virus (cultures only)
Herpes B virus (cultures only)
Human immunodeficiency virus (cultures only)
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (cultures only)
Japanese Encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Junin virus
Kyasanur Forest disease virus
Lassa virus
Machupo virus
Marburg virus
Monkeypox virus
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (cultures only)
Nipah virus
Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus
Poliovirus (cultures only)
Rabies virus
Rickettsia prowazekii (cultures only)
Rickettsia rickettsii (cultures only)
Rift Valley fever virus
Russian spring-summer encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Sabia virus
Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (cultures only)
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (cultures only)
Variola virus
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
West Nile virus (cultures only)
Yellow fever virus (cultures only)
Yersinia pestis (cultures only)
African swine fever virus (cultures only)
Avian paramyxovirus Type 1 – Velogenic Newcastle disease virus (cultures only)
Classical swine fever virus (cultures only)
Foot and mouth disease virus (cultures only)
Goatpox virus (cultures only)
Lumpy skin disease virus (cultures only)
Mycoplasma mycoides – Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia(cultures only)
Peste des petits ruminants virus (cultures only)
Rinderpest virus (cultures only)
Sheep-pox virus (cultures only)
Swine vesicular disease virus (cultures only)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (cultures only) Category B:

Une matière infectieuse qui ne répond pas aux critères d'inclusion dans la catégorie A. Les matières infectieuses de la catégorie B doivent être affectées au numéro ONU 3373.

Note: The proper shipping name of UN 3373 is Diagnostic specimens or Clinical specimens or Biological substance, category B. On 1 January 2007, it is anticipated that the use of the shipping names Diagnostic specimens and Clinical specimens will no longer be permitted. Exemptions Substances which do not contain infectious substances or substances which are unlikely to cause disease in humans or animals are not subject to these Regulations unless they meet the criteria for inclusion in another class. Substances containing microorganisms which are non-pathogenic to humans or animals are not subject to these Regulations unless they meet the criteria for inclusion in another class. Substances in a form that any present pathogens have been neutralized or inactivated such that they no longer pose a health risk are not subject to these Regulations unless they meet the criteria for inclusion in another class. Environmental samples (including food and water samples) which are not considered to pose a significant risk of infection are not subject to these Regulations unless they meet the criteria for inclusion in another class. Dried blood spots, collected by applying a drop of blood onto absorbent material, or faecal occult blood screening tests and blood or blood components which have been collected for the purposes of transfusion or for the preparation of blood products to be used for transfusion or transplantation and any tissues or organs intended for use in transplantation are not subject to these Regulations. Patient specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present are not subject to these Regulations if the specimen is packed in a packaging which will prevent any leakage and which is marked with the words "Exempt human specimen" or "Exempt animal specimen", as appropriate. The packaging must meet the following conditions:

a) L'emballage doit être composé de trois éléments :

1. A leak-proof primary receptacle(s);

2. A leak-proof secondary packaging; and

3. An outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm × 100 mm;

b) Pour les liquides, un matériau absorbant en quantité suffisante pour absorber la totalité du contenu doit être

placés entre le(s) récipient(s) primaire(s) et l'emballage secondaire de telle sorte que, pendant le transport, tout rejet ou fuite d'une matière liquide n'atteigne pas l'emballage extérieur et ne compromette pas l'intégrité du matériau de calage ;

c) Lorsque plusieurs récipients primaires fragiles sont placés dans un seul emballage secondaire, ils doivent être emballés individuellement ou séparés pour éviter tout contact entre eux...

NOTE: In determining whether a patient specimen has a minimum likelihood that pathogens are present, an element of professional judgment is required to determine if a substance is exempt under this paragraph. That judgment should be based on the known medical history, symptoms and individual circumstances of the source, human or animal, and endemic local conditions.

Parmi les exemples d'échantillons qui peuvent être transportés en vertu du présent paragraphe, mentionnons les analyses de sang ou d'urine pour surveiller le taux de cholestérol, la glycémie, les taux d'hormones ou les antigènes prostatiques spécifiques (APS) ; ceux nécessaires pour surveiller la fonction d'organes comme le cœur, le foie ou les reins chez les humains ou les animaux atteints de maladies non infectieuses ou la surveillance thérapeutique des drogues ; ceux effectués pour les besoins des assurances ou des emplois et visant à détecter la présence d'alcool ou de drogues ; les épreuves de grossesse ; les biopsies pour détecter un cancer ; les anticorps chez les humains ou animaux.

6.2.3 Biological Products For the purposes of these Regulations, biological products are divided into the following groups:

a) ceux qui sont fabriqués et emballés conformément aux exigences des autorités nationales compétentes et transportés aux fins d'emballage final ou de distribution et d'utilisation pour les soins de santé personnels par des professionnels de la santé ou des particuliers. Les substances de ce groupe ne sont pas assujetties au présent règlement.

b) celles qui ne relèvent pas de l'alinéa a) et dont on sait ou dont on peut raisonnablement penser qu'elles contiennent des matières infectieuses et qui répondent aux critères d'inclusion dans la catégorie A ou la catégorie B. Les matières de ce groupe doivent être affectées aux numéros ONU 2814, UN2900 ou UN3373 selon le cas.

Note : Certains produits biologiques homologués peuvent présenter un risque biologique seulement dans certaines parties du monde. Dans ce cas, les autorités compétentes peuvent exiger que ces produits biologiques soient conformes aux prescriptions locales applicables aux matières infectieuses ou imposer d'autres restrictions.

6.2.4 Genetically Modified Micro-organisms and Organisms Genetically modified micro-organisms not meeting the definition of an infectious substance must be classified according to Subsection 3.9.

6.2.5 Medical or Clinical Wastes Medical or clinical wastes containing Category A infectious substances must be assigned to UN2814 or UN2900, as appropriate. Medical or clinical wastes containing infectious substances in Category B, must be assigned to UN3291. Medical or clinical wastes which are reasonably believed to have a low probability of containing infectious substances must be assigned to UN3291. Note: The proper shipping name for UN3291 is Clinical waste, unspecified, n.o.s. or (Bio) Medical waste, n.o.s. or Regulated medical waste, n.o.s..

6.2.6 Infected Animals A live animal that has been intentionally infected and is known or suspected to contain an infectious substance must not be transported by air unless the infectious substance contained cannot be consigned by any other means. Infected animals may only be transported under terms and conditions approved by the appropriate national authority. Unless an infectious substance cannot be consigned by any other means, live animals must not be used to consign such a substance. Animal carcasses affected by pathogens of category A or which would be assigned to category A in cultures only, must be assigned to UN 2814 or UN 2900 as appropriate. Other animal carcasses affected by pathogens included in Category B must be transported in accordance with provisions determined by the competent authority.

6.2.7 Patient Specimens Patient specimens must be assigned to UN 2814, UN 2900 or UN 3373 as appropriate except if they comply with