IMDG Code 2018 Amendment 39-18 Summary of Changes

The next update to the IMDG Code (Amendment 39-18) will be published by the International Maritime Organization towards the end of this year. Compliance is optional from 1 January 2019 and mandatory on 1 January 2020.

A summary of the key changes is provided below:

  • Harmonised with the update to Model regulations, 20th edition
  • Throughout the text there is a change from 'risks' to now read 'hazards'. Column 4 of the DGL now reads 'subsidiary hazard(s)'
  • New 2.0.6 and UN Numbers 3537 to 3548 covering 'ARTICLES CONTAINING DANGEROUS GOODS'
  • Viscous liquids exemption in now aligns with ADR and RID limit for packages, 30L to 450L
  • Classification of corrosives chapter 2.8 overhauled and extensively updated to align with GHS texts
  • There have been a couple of amendments to the subdivisions of class 9 in and the relevant new class 9 entries added
  • Clarification in that only the more applicable PSN to be used when there are several distinct ones under one UN Number
  • The 18 segregation groups in have now been coded and included in column 16b of the DGL
  • The stowage categories for several class 1 entries have been amended to facilitate the transport of large, robust articles
  • Many substances in the DGL have now been assigned SG35, SG36 and/ or SG49 (stow separated from acids/ alkalis/ cyanides) to correct inconsistencies in the way segregation has been applied to some substances and not others
  • UN 3316 is no longer listed with packing group II and III entries. Instead one entry is listed and SP251 is amended to say it shall have the most stringent packing group of any substance in the kit
  • As well as the new ARTICLES CONTAINING DANGEROUS GOODS entries (UN 3537 to 3548) there are also new entries for TOXIC SOLID, FLAMMABLE, INORGANIC, N.O.S.(UN 3535) and LITHIUM BATTERIES INSTALLED IN CARGO TRANSPORT UNIT (UN 3536)
  • Several special provisions applied to UN 3166 and UN 3171 now deleted and amalgamated in a new SP388
  • There have been several updates to existing packing instructions and a few new packing instructions added
  • There is a new IMO type 9 tank added for road gas elements vehicles for the transport of compressed gases of class 2
  • Chapter 5.3 is now extended to cover bulk containers
  • Part 6 has several minor changes to some of the Chapters
  • There is new table added to which provides segregation exemptions for organic peroxides UN 3101 to 3120 with sub-risks that clash with other organic peroxides
  • Section 7.2.8 has been updated to reflect the new segregation group codes. SG1 has been amended and new segregation codes SG76, SG77 and SG78 added
  • Section 7.3.7 is restructured to merge the amendments to the Model Regulations and the existing text
  • The EmS guide has been updated and revised to reflect new assignments in column 15 of the DGL


This summary was produced by Exis Technologies, leading supplier of compliance systems for the management of dangerous goods in sea transport and e-learning courses for IMDG Code and container packing training, and IMO distributor

Updated : V1.2 October 2018

This is a guide only. Users must check with official sources before relying on the information.

Exis Technologies accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions.

Please contact for a copy of this in French, Spanish or Chinese