Dangerous goods that have not been correctly declared when offered for transport have contributed to some serious accidents at sea. Safe handling, stowage, and segregation of packaged dangerous goods cannot be carried out if there is no knowledge of the presence of dangerous goods inside the cargo transport unit (container and/or trailer), or if the goods have been incorrectly declared. Although undeclared dangerous goods are recognized as a safety issue in the shipping industry, there is little information available on the extent of the risk involved. The study described in this paper was carried out to investigate the extent and potential consequences of the maritime transport of undeclared dangerous goods. Dangerous goods incident and inspection reports and ship casualty data were reviewed and analysed. A generic qualitative model was constructed to illustrate contributing factors and potential consequences in incidents involving undeclared dangerous goods.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Battelle Memorial Institute. 2009.Hazardous materials transportation incident data for root cause analysis. Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program Report 1. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board.
Burgess, Ken. 2006. Of critical concern.Seatrade (May–June): 31–33.
Catapult Technology Ltd. 2005.Hazardous materials incident Reporting System HMIRS data definitions and codes. Report prepared for US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety.
Cohen, Stephen S. 2006. Boom boxes: Containers and terrorism. InProtecting the nation’s seaports: Balancing security and cost. Ed. Jon D. Haveman and Howard J. Shatz, 91–128. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California. http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=698 (accessed December 2009).
Cunningham Lindsey Marine. 2007. Newsletter (6) www.iumi2007.dk (accessed February 2009).
Forsman, Björn, Joanne Ellis, Susann Gehl, Uwe Langbecker, and Kurt Riedel. 2006.Risk analysis for container ships. Report D4.4.2 of the SAFEDOR Project. Hamburg: SAFEDOR.
Foster, Christopher. 2007. Misdeclared or undeclared dangerous goods cargoes: Ignorance, incompetence or deceit?The Swedish Club Letter. 1-2007: 16–17.
Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) Marine Casualties and Incidents Module. International Maritime Organization. http://gisis.imo.org/Public/ (accessed January 2010).
Güner-Özbek, Meltem Deniz. 2008.The carriage of dangerous goods by sea. Hamburg Studies on Maritime Affairs 12. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Hollnagel, Erik. 2004.Barriers and Accident Prevention. Aldershot, Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing Company.
Hazardous Materials Incident Reporting System Database. US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/data-stats/incidents (accessed April 2009).
International Maritime Organization. 2008a.International maritime dangerous goods code: Incorporating amendment 34-08. London: IMO.
-. 2008b. Casualty-related matters reports on marine casualties and incidents. MSC-MEPC.3/Circ.3.
International Maritime Organization (IMO), Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). 1998. Inspection programmes for cargo transport units (CTUs) carrying dangerous goods. MSC/Circ. 859.
-. 2007a. FSA — Container vessels; details of the Formal Safety Assessment. MSC 83/INF.8. or[---. 2007b. Formal safety assessment, Consolidated text of the Guidelines for Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) for use in the IMO rule-making process (MSC/ Circ.1023-MEPC/Circ.392), MSC 83/INF.2.
International Martime Organization (IMO), Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC). 2005. Results of IMO survey on inspections of containers/vehicles carrying packaged dangerous goods. DSC 10/6/5.
-. 2007a. Casualty and incident report and analysis. DSC 12/6/12.
-. 2007b. Casualty and incident report and analysis. Results of inspections on packaged dangerous goods submitted by Sweden. DSC 12/6/1.
-. 2008. Casualty and incident report and analysis. DSC 13/6/16.
-. 2009. Casualty and incident report and analysis. DSC 14/6/12.
Kaplan, Stanley, and B. John Garrick. 1981. On the quantitative definition of risk.Risk Analysis 1 (1): 11–27.
Kelman, J. B. 2008. Hazards in the maritime transport of bulk materials and containerized products.Loss Prevention Bulletin 203: 28–36.
Kimery, A. L. 2006. Dangerous cargo.Homeland Security Today, December 31. http://www.hstoday.us (accessed 30 January 2009).
Kristiansen, Svein. 2005.Maritime transportation: Safety management and risk analysis. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.
Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay. 2009. Lloyd’s Register Fairplay Database Casualty Module. (July 2009 version).
Marine Accident Investigation Branch. 2001. Case 10: Undeclared dangerous goods; Problems.Safety Digest 1/2001. http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/safety_digests/ 2001.cfm (accessed 29 December 2009).
-. 2009a. An accident, major or serious injury, or hazardous incident? http://www.maib.gov.uk/about_us/index.cfm (accessed 29 December 2009).
-. 2009b. Annual report 2008. Southampton, UK: Marine Accident Investigation Branch. http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/annual_reports.cfm (accessed 29 October 2009).
-. 2009c. Incidents and accidents potentially involving carriage of dangerous goods. Database extract prepared by MAIB for Joanne Ellis, 19 November.
Maritime Administrator, Republic of the Marshall Islands. 1999.Decision of the Maritime Administrator Republic of the Marshall Islands and the report of investigation in the matter of the explosion and fire on board the container vessel SEA-LAND MARINER — O.N. 1100 off the Island of Crete on 18 April 1998. Marshall Islands: Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Maritime and Coastguard Agency. 2008.MSC Napoli incident; The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s response. Southampton: Maritime and Coastguard Agency. http://www.mcga.gov.uk (accessed 26 June 2009).
Mullai, Arben. 2007. A risk analysis framework for maritime transport of packaged dangerous goods — A validating demonstration. PhD Diss., Lund University.
Munich Re Group. 2002.Containers — Transport. Technology. Insurance. Munich: Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. 2004.Report on container transport security across modes. Paris: OECD.
Porter, Janet. 2008. Shipowners call for box weight checks at dock gate.Lloyd’s List, December 10 (59, 819): 1.
Povel, Daniel, Uwe Langbecker, Kay Dausendschön, Yehuda Sinai, Mark Owens, Susann Gehl, Björn Forsman, Joanne Ellis, and Kurt Riedel. 2006. Risk assessment for container ships focusing on cargo fire. Paper presented at the Royal Institution of Naval Architects’ Conference on the Design and Operation of Container Ships, November 22–23, in London.
Psarros, G., et al. 2009 (in press). Under-reporting of maritime accidents.Accid. Anal. Pre v., doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.10.008.
South African Maritime Safety Authority. 2004.Report of the preliminary enquiry into the explosion and fire onboard the mv “Sea Elegance” on 11 October 2003 at the Durban Anchorage. Annex to IMO DSC 10/INF. 2. Durban: South African Maritime Safety Authority.
Stuart, D. 2007. ‘Misdeclared’ cargo led to Zim Haifa fire, court told.Lloyd’s List, September 11.
Swedish TransportAgency. 1991. Decree SJÖFS 1991:5.
Transportstyrelsen. 2009. Information from SOS. Database extract prepared by Transportstyrelsen [Swedish Transport Agency] for Joanne Ellis, 30 June.
TT Club. 2007. Dangerous goods incidents “a persistent and growing problem”, warns TT Club. http://www.ttclub.com/TTClub/public.nsf/HTML/KLRN-76YD4Q?Open Document (accessed12August 2009).
US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. 2004. Guide for Preparing Hazardous Materials Incidents Reports. PHH50-0038-0604. http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/ reporting_instructions_rev.pdf
US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. 2009. HMIRS database. http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/datastats/incidents (accessed February 2009).
U S Government Accountability Office. 2006.Undeclared Hazardous Materials;New DOT Efforts May Provide Additional Information on Undeclared Shipments. Report to Congressional Committees, GAO-06-471. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Accountability Office.
Wang, J., and P. Foinikis. 2001. Formal safety assessment of containerships.Marine Policy 25: 143–157.
Zachau, J. 2008.Near-misses and accidents in proactive safety work. Swedish Maritime Administration Report Series B 2008-6. Swedish Maritime Safety Inspectorate. http://www.transportstyrelsen.se/sv/Sjofart/Olyckor—tillbud/Analyser/ (accessed 8 January 2010).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Ellis, J. Undeclared dangerous goods — Risk implications for maritime transport. WMU J Marit Affairs 9, 5–27 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03195163
- Dangerous Goods
- Maritime Transport
- Marine Safety
- Incident Analysis