Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

In June 2002, INTERTANKO submitted to IMO/BLG 7 a request for a mandatory requirement that shippers provide oil tankers with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each Annex I type cargo and each bunker oil delivered to ships. This important document is intended to play a crucial role in personnel safety matters but also gives important information to enable the crew to operate the cargo to such parameters that would prevent losses through vapour releases or sludges.

At the INTERTANKO initiative and in accordance with INTERTANKO’s proposed documents, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) adopted at its 77 Session Resolution MSC.150(77) on Recommendation for Material Safety Data Sheets for MARPOL Annex I cargoes and marine fuel oils:


This Resolution urges Governments to ensure the supply and carriage of the MSDS and came into effect 2 June 2003. The Resolution contains an MSDS standard format and guidelines for completion of the MSDS. Both documents are based on the INTERTANKO suggested model. At this point of time, the IMO has invited other organisations such as the WHO, ILO and other IMO sub-committees such as the STW Sub-Committee to consider endorsing a final format for the MSDS.



The objective is to have a mandatory requirement for MSDS. Pending feedback from the other expert organisations and the IMO STW Sub-Committee, INTERTANKO will proceed requesting the IMO to make this Resolution a mandatory requirement under SOLAS Chapter VII. Expected next follow up at the IMO Bulk Liquid and Gases (BLG) Sub-Committee 10th Session in 2005.



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