International Code of the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying
Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), adopted by resolution MSC.5(48), has been
mandatory under SOLAS chapter VII since 1 July 1986. The IGC Code applies to
ships regardless of their size, including those of less than 500 gross tonnage,
engaged in carriage of liquefied gases having a vapour pressure exceeding 2.8
bar absolute at a temperature of 37.8°C, and certain other substances listed in
chapter 19 of the Code. The aim of the Code is to provide an international
standard for the safe carriage by sea in bulk of liquefied gases and the
substances listed in chapter 19, by prescribing the design and construction
standards of ships involved in such carriage and the equipment they should carry
so as to minimize the risk to the ship, to its crew and to the environment,
having regard to the nature of the products involved.
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.
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 development of the Code it was recognized that it must be based upon sound
naval architectural and engineering principles and the best understanding
available as to the hazards of the various products covered; furthermore that
gas carrier design technology is not only a complex technology but is rapidly
evolving and that the Code should not remain static. Therefore, IGC Code is
kept under review, taking into account experience and technological development.
The latest comprehensive amendments of the IGC Code were adopted by resolution
MSC.370(93), expected to enter into force on 1 July 2016.
Code for the Construction Equipment of
Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (GC Code) and Code for Existing Ships
Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (EGC Code)
carriers constructed before 1 July 1986 and after 31 October 1976 should comply
with the requirements of the Code for the Construction Equipment of Ships
Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (GC Code), while gas carriers that had already
been trading prior to the application of the GC Code should comply with the
requirements of the Code for Existing Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk.