Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (EmS) Guide

In November 1997, the IMO Assembly adopted resolution A.852(20) on Guidelines for a structure of an integrated system of contingency planning for shipboard emergencies. This Guide should be integrated into Module IV on Response actions, as contained in paragraph of the aforementioned resolution, for cargo-related incidents.


This EmS Guide contains guidance on Emergency Response Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods including the Emergency Schedules (EmS) to be followed in case of incidents involving dangerous substances, materials or articles, or harmful substances (marine pollutants), regulated under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).


The purpose of this Guide is to provide guidance for dealing with fires and spillages (leakages) on board ships involving the dangerous goods listed in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).


In accordance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, all ships, and the companies responsible for their operation, are required to maintain a Safety Management System (SMS). Within the SMS, procedures for responding to potential shipboard emergencies are required. This Guide is intended to assist shipowners, ship operators and other parties concerned with developing such emergency response procedures, which should be integrated into the ship’s contingency plan.


In the event of a fire or spillage incident, initial actions should be carried out in accordance with the shipboard emergency plan. Where dangerous goods are involved, the responses in the emergency plan should be based on this Guide for specific dangerous goods having regard to, inter alia, the type of ship, the quantity and type of packaging of the dangerous goods and whether the goods are stowed on or under deck.


The EmS Guide will be amended by E&T Group as and when necessary to reflect amendments made to the IMDG Code.


For further information about the EmS Guide, please send an email to etgroup@imo.org