The International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) applies to gas carriers constructed on or after1 July 1986. Gas carriers constructed before that date should comply with the requirements of the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk or the Code for Existing Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk.
The purposes of these codes is to provide an international standard for the safe transport by sea in bulk of liquefied gases and certain other substances, by prescribing the design and construction standards of ships involved in such transport and the equipment they should carry so as to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and to the environment, having regard to the nature of the products involved.
The basic philosophy is one of ship types related to the hazards of the products covered by these codes, each of which may have one or more hazard properties. A further possible hazard may arise owing to the products being transported under cryogenic (refrigerated) or pressure conditions.
Severe collisions or strandings could lead to cargo tank damage and uncontrolled release of the product. Such release could result in evaporation and dispersion of the product and, in some cases, could cause brittle fracture of the ship's hull. The requirements in the codes are intended to minimize these risks as far as is practicable, based upon present knowledge and technology.
The IGC Code is kept under review, taking into account experience and technological development. The layout of this code is in line with the International Code for the Construction of Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code).
The IGC Code can be purchased from IMO Publications.