IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code)

The 2014 IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code), jointly developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), addresses these concerns through a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of cargo transport units for transportation by sea and land.

The 2014 CTU Code is an update of the 1997 IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units and was endorsed by the Inland Transport Committee of the UNECE, at its seventy-sixth session (25 to 27 February 2014), the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-third session (14 to 23 May 2014) and the Governing Body of ILO, at its 322nd session (30 October to 13 November 2014). The revision process took place from 2011to 2013 under the auspices of a group of experts.

Within the CTU Code, comprehensive information and references on all aspects of loading and securing of cargo in containers and other intermodal transport are provided, taking account of the requirements of all sea and land transport modes.  The CTU Code applies to transport operations throughout the entire intermodal transport chain and provides guidance not only to those responsible for packing and securing cargo, but also to those who receive and unpack such units.  The Code of Practice also addresses issues such as training and the packing of dangerous goods.

The CTU Code is intended to assist the industry, employers’ and workers’ organizations as well as Governments in ensuring the safe stowage of cargo in containers. The CTU Code could also be used as a reference base for national regulations and could become a model for internationally harmonized legislation in this field, should such requirements arise.

The CTU Code was recently issued as an MSC circular (MSC.1/Circ.1497) and it can also be downloaded from the dedicated website listed in the related links.

In conjunction with the CTU Code, the Informative Material related to the CTU Code (MSC.1/Circ.1498) provides practical guidance and background information on the packing of cargo transport units.  The informative material was finalized by the IMO Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) at its first session  However, even though the informative material is referenced in the CTU Code, it does not form part of the CTU Code and, therefore, it need not be endorsed by the governing bodies of the UNECE and the ILO.

In the context of the CTU Code, MSC.1-CIRC.1531 (E).pdf the Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-sixth session (11 to 20 May 2016), having considered the proposal by the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers, at its second session, approved the Due diligence checklist in identifying providers of CTU-related services (MSC.1/Circ.1531).