Vessel Stowage Categories [IMDG Code Chapter 7.1]
Stowage categories are identified in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code on Dangerous Goods List Column 16 to indicate what type of vessel and where on the vessel a dangerous good may be transported. IMDG Code Chapter 7.1 explains the different stowage categories. For material other than explosives, there are five categories: A, B, C, D or E. For example, Category A means that the material is permitted on or under the deck of passenger and cargo ships.
There is no requirement in the IMDG Code for a shipper to include a vessel stowage category on the transport document or package/container marks. That said, some vessel operators and/or freight forwarders may ask that the information be included for ease or convenience in planning a load or hiring an operator.
Vessel stowage and segregation of dangerous goods is one of the topics covered in Environmental Resource Center’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Compliance with IATA and IMO Regulations course.