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Dangerous Goods

General Information

Regulations are based on several Governmental laws and municipal by-laws. The Dangerous Goods Department of the Port Management of Amsterdam is the focal point where all information on dangerous goods on board vessels is collected, administered and distributed to parties concerned. Inspection of vessels berthed in the port of Amsterdam is in general carried out by the inspectors of the Dangerous Goods Department. In certain cases (e.g. explosives) inspectors of the Governmental Agency are also in charge (Rijksverkeersinspectie).
The following legislative rules are in force regarding the transport of dangerous substances:

  • Regulations for the Carriage of Dangerous substances in Seagoing vessels WBJ/V 24422 of July 10, 1985
  • Port by-laws.

1) Of a ship, loaded with:

  • goods under class 1 and 5.2;
  • more than 1000 kg (gross-altogether) of the other dangerous goods named in the IMDG code, the captain, or if an authorized deputy acts for him, then this deputy, must in each case in time, and generally at least 24 hours before the ship enters Netherlands waters report to the proper local authorities of the places where the ship will berth;
  • the name, call sign, nationality, length and draught of the ship giving the unit of measurement used, name of the agent or ship-broker in the port of call, intended port of call, harbour basin, and berth;
  • name, class, U.N. number of where appropriate with page from the IMDG, Code, quantity, method of packing, number of cases, etc. and method of stowage of the dangerous goods whether transhipment is or not contemplated, name and address of the addressee, by what method of transport further transport will occur, place and time of transhipment;
  • overheating, fire or a suspicion thereof in the cargo concerned;
  • damage to the cargo or to the ship;
  • intended time of departure.

2) The captain, or if an authorized deputy acts for him then this deputy, must in each case in time, and generally at least 24 hours before departure report the information mentioned under 1.b about all dangerous goods on board and about all changes in stowage of the transhipment.
Vessels bound for or leaving Amsterdam must report this information in writing exclusively to the Harbourmaster of Amsterdam; goods of class 1 must also be reported to the Rijksverkeersinspectie.

3) Instructions issued by or on behalf of the authorities named in the first paragraph must be adhered to. When bound for or leaving another port than Amsterdam, the information shall also be sent directly to the Harbourmaster of Amsterdam.

4) Of a tanker loaded with cargoes or empty from cargoes as mentioned in chapter II-2, part D of the Solar convention, and as listed in chapter 17 of the IBC-code and chapter 19 of the IGL-code the captain or this authorized deputy is under obligation to follow the same reporting procedure as in above paragraphs 1 to 3.

The Harbourmaster of the port of Amsterdam can be reached by: 
Telephone 020-6239130/6221515
Telex 15480 (haven nl)
Fax 020-6266215
VHF Channel 68

The Rijksverkeersinspectie Transport Information Centre can be contacted in the Hague:
Telephone 070-3052444
Fax 070-3052424

Explosives 1

1) In transporting explosive goods the following quantities are permitted on board:

a. 125 kg (gross-altogether) of Class 1, danger group 1.1., 1.2 and 1.5;
b. 500 kg (gross-altogether )of Class 1, danger group 1.3 and 1.4;
c. 1000 kg (gross-altogether) of Class 1, danger group 1.4 S;
d. 300.000 kg (all-together) of Class 1, danger group 1.4

S.U.N. numbers 0012 and 0014 (with a calibre of not more than 19.1 mm), 0055 and 0105.

2) Exceptions from that load down in the first paragraph are that when transporting explosive goods over the
waters between the sea and the State transhipment point for explosive dangerous goods near 
Buitenhuizen, along the North Sea Canal the following quantities are permitted on board:

a. 30,000 kg (gross-altogether) of Class 1, danger group 1.1 and 1.5;
b. 120,000 kg (gross-altogether) of Class 1, danger group 1.2 and 1.3;
c. an unlimited quantity of Class 1, danger group 1.4

3) Should the cargo of a ship consists of different explosive goods, or which in the first paragraph or second
paragraph different quantities are fixed, the total gross weight indicated.

4) Ships loaded with explosive goods in greater quantities than mentioned in the first paragraph may only
berth, except when waiting for locks, bridges and such like, at the State transhipment points for explosive
dangerous goods on the North Sea Canal near Buitenhuizen.

Precautions to be taken aboard ships

Care must be taken on board seagoing vessels transporting explosives or dangerous cargo, that:

a. sufficient suitable fire extinguishers are kept in readiness for immediate use;
b. sparks from running motors, boilers and stoves are not emitted from the funnel;
c. sources of heat such as boilers and stoves are kept under constant supervision by a person designated by the captain;
d. work which involves fire risk - such as welding, cutting, paint spraying, cleaning of stokeholds - is carried out only with the permission of the Harbour-master;
e. smoking takes place only in quarters designated for the purpose by the captain; the windows of these quarters must be kept closed; the use of ashtrays shall be compulsory;
f. as long as the above mentioned dangerous substances are on board the vessel adequate staff, equipment and moving power are available;
g. persons under the influence of alcoholic drinks or drugs are not allowed to carry out any work whatsoever on board the vessel;
h. as long as the vessel occupies a berth, the vessel is so linked with the shore that it can be boarded or evacuated rapidly and safely at all times.

In order to prevent accidents or untoward incidents which could occur during the transport, there must be written instructions on board the vessel that indicate in concise form:

a. the nature of the danger attached to the dangerous substances being carried, and the safety measures which must be taken to avert this danger; 
b. the measures to be taken and the assistance to be rendered should any person come into contact with the goods transported or substances given off by such goods;
c. the measures to be taken in the event of fire and, in particular, the fire extinguishers or categories of extinguishers which are not to be used;
d. the measures to be taken in the event of packaging or goods transported being broken or damaged, particularly if dangerous substances have escaped.

The captain must make the relevant members of the crew of the vessel carrying such substances so well acquainted with these instructions that they are able duly to observe them.

Efficient measures must have been taken on board sea-going vessels for the prevention and fighting of fires. Members of the crew are forbidden to open packages containing dangerous substances. 
Warning notices prescribed by this law must be shown on every ship, in particular the 'no-smoking' notices and those forbidding the entrance to the ships carrying dangerous cargo. The notices must be shown in vicinity of the gangway and near places where dangerous substances are stowed. The provisions relating to the transport enforce also the loading and unloading of the vessel and the temporary storage on quays. According to the nature of the dangerous substances it is required to have at disposal protective clothing and shoes, and suitable breathing apparatus for direct use. While the sea-going vessel is lying in berth or sailing in the IJmuiden North Sea Canal and Amsterdam port area, a hold or other space containing explosives must be kept closed.


For a sea-going vessel loaded with:

  • more than 100 kg (gross-altogether) of goods from Class 1, danger groups 1.1 and 1.5;
  • more than 1000 kg (gross-altogether) of goods from Class 1, danger groups 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4; also of substances from Class 5.2 provided with an explosive label accordingly the IMDG code;
  • more than 1000 kg (gross-altogether) of goods of Class 2, that must be provided with a poison label accordingly the IMDG code;
  • conform to these regulations, tankers transporting dangerous cargo as mentioned in chapter II-2, part D of the Solas convention or listed in chapter 17 of the IBC-code or listed in chapter 19 of the IGC-code or empty from this cargo and not declared gas-free/clean by a marine chemist; while underway as well as when stationary must exhibit the following flags and lights:
    By day: the signal 'B' from the International Signal Code.
    At night: one red clear light visible all round; the lights must give an uninterrupted light of equal strength.
    The daytime flags and the lights must be exhibited where they can best be seen and at a height of at least 6 metres above the deck. If visibility is less than 2000 metres, then the lights stipulated for night-time use must be exhibited during the day. As indicated by the local authorities, aboard ships carrying dangerous cargo, fire-wires of sufficient strength and length with adequate slack on deck must be provided to the off-side bow from stem and stern. The towing-eyes must hang above the water level at all times. For oil harbours these fire-wires are compulsory.


All vessels must be adequately secured alongside the jetties/quays in an agreed position with sufficient number of adequate ropes or wires, which must be properly tended and kept out to the satisfaction of the Harbour-master. For tanks-hips alongside berths beside further moorings one steelwire for and aft is prescribed. Particular attention should be given that no strain is put on hoses or loading-arms. Anchors have to be secured, when moored alongside the jetty. No vessel may lie alongside the jetty with an anchor on the bottom.

Regulations for 'Combination-ships'

'Combination-ships' are defined to be all ships suitable to carry both dry cargo in bulk and liquid cargo in bulk (namely O/O-, O.B.O.- and O/Ch-carriers).

I) Transhipment of liquid cargo

Combination-ships, which load or discharge liquid cargo should be considered as common tankers. This implies that the usual regulations for tank vessels apply for that category.

  1. The construction, lay out and fitting-out of tankers which transport goods listed in the second paragraph, must conform to the regulations compiled by IMO for the construction and fitting-out of existing ships which carry liquefied gases in bulk, or to the regulations compiled by IMO fot the construction and fitting-out of existing ships which carry liquefied gases in bulk. As proof of this ships referred to in this paragraph must carry a valid certificate issued by, or on behalf of, the proper authority from the land of registration.
  2. The constructional lay out and fitting-out of sea-going vessels, that carry goods in bulk as meant in Chapter VI of the regulations compiled by IMO fot the building and fitting-out of ships that carry dangerous goods in bulk, must comply tot the said regulations. As proof of this ships referred in this paragraph must carry a valid certificate issued by, or on behalf of, the proper authority from the country of registration.
  3. The certificate meant in the first and second paragraphs, must on demand be given tot the officials meant in Clause 11 of the Dangerous Goods Act, as well as the proper local authority.

II) Transhipment of dry cargo in bulk

a) Combination-ships which never carried (dangerous) liquids as a cargo.
For this category, to be considered as a common bulkcarrier, a declaration of the master is required prior to the arrival of the vessel, stating the ship has never transported a liquid cargo as meant. The competent (local) authority may check this at random.

b) Combination-ships which have carried (dangerous) liquids as a cargo on one or more occasions.
Such a ship should comply with the requirements with regard to the condition of the cargo- mand adjacent spaces as expressed below. To prove compliance a marine chemist shall issue a certificate stating the condition per space prior to preparations for the transhipment, after having ascertained that ship complies with the regulations.

Prior to berthing the master is compelled to submit the result of the test immediately to the Harbour-master, or the competent (local) authority, e.g. by VHF, later to be followed by submitting a Photostat of the certificate. In special cases, subject to the judgement of the Harbour-master, the requirement to carry out an investigation each time the ship enters port, can be dropped.

III) Requirements regarding the condition of the cargo spaced and adjacent spaces in case a combination-ship stays in port.

a) If the vessel should be loaded or discharged in a (Dutch) port, it must have been ascertained that holds or tanks destined for the carriage of dry cargo in bulk are clean and gas free.

b) All other spaces, except those meant in item c., must be in one of the following conditions:
-gas free (that is gas concentration<20% L.E.L.)
- inerted in such a way that the oxygen concentration is less than 5% (vol.) while an overpressure of at least 0.025 bar must be maintained. These spaces must be kept in above mentioned condition during the ship's stay in port.

c) The remainders of combustible liquids, whether mixed with water or not, may only be carried in suitable slop tanks which may not be adjacent to holds or tanks, destined or used for the transportation of dry bulk cargo. The atmosphere in these tanks may not contain more oxygen than 5% (vol.), while an overpressure must be maintained of at least 0.025 bar. These tanks must be kept in above mentioned condition during the ship's stay in port. If during the ship's stay in the port it is found that the ship doesn't (or does no longer) comply with these requirements the transhipment-operations must be stopped and the Harbour-master informed.

After permission by the Harbour-master and while observing the conditions set by him, the ship's tanks may be restored to the required conditions. After that transhipment-operations may only be resumed if the existence of the required condition has been established by a renewed investigation by a marine chemist and the Harbourmaster's permission is obtained.

Ships in the Oil Harbours

The Oil Harbours comprise the area and waters of Petroleumhaven, Jan v. Riebeeckhaven and Usselincxhaven; partly the areas and waters of Carel Reyniershaven, Sonthaven, Westhaven, Bosporushaven, Beringhaven, Mainhaven, Hornhaven, Amerikahaven and Australiehaven. Tankships are only allowed to enter oil harbours. No other craft is allowed in the oil harbours without permission of the Harbourmaster.

Fire fighting equipment etc.

Vessels must be adequately manned for fire-fighting and vacating the berth in case of an emergency.

The following fire-fighting precautions must be taken:

a) Fire-hoses must be run out fore and aft and connected at the fire-mains or monitors must be ready for use.
b) The pumps to be used for fire-fighting should be kept in readiness.
c) One dry chemical extinguisher must be stationed on either side of the ship's manifold.

Escape of oil into the water/deballasting

To prevent the escape of oil into the harbour, scuppers are to be plugged during discharging, loading, shifting of cargo or bunkering. Drip-trays must be placed. Overside deballasting is prohibited unless approved by the Harbour-master. Oil spillage must be reported at once to the Harbour-master by VHF-channel 4 and /or by phone 020-6221515 and/or by fax 020-6254015.


Tank-cleaning and repairing is subject to the Regulations as stated in the Tanker Safety Decree 1974 and with approval by the Harbour-master. A certificate stating the safe use of fire or safe working conditions is prescribed as laid down in the Tanker Safety Decree. Inspection on safe working is carried out by officials on the Board of Trade (Havenarbeidsinspectie). General inspection is carried out by officials of the Harbour-master's office.


The captain or his authorized deputy must notify the port reception and the harbourmaster of the name, nature and quantity of the waste, at least 24 hours in advance before discharging slops and sludges that are mentioned in the Marpol supplement.


Of a ship with goods listed in annexes I, II and III of Marpol; 73/78, which are not included in the IMDG-,IBC of IGC code or chapter ii-2, part D of the Solas-convention, the captain or his authorized deputy is under obligation to follow the same reporting procedure as mentioned under the chapter 'dangerous goods', paragraphs 1 till 3.


When signals must be shown the following regulations must be observed: When a vessel is fitted with arrangements for closed loading/discharging, the gas vent system must be used in all loading, discharging and ballast operations and the ullage plug openings should, as far as possible, be kept closed and fully seated but not secured, except when actually sighting, gauging or sampling tanks.
Flame arrestors are to be fitted to all appropriate places. It is not permitted to load K-1 or K-2 products with a flashpoint below 61'c overall i.e. loaded direct through any deck opening. No more than two different products shall be loaded/discharged at the same time.
No general cargo, including petroleum in drums or other containers and liquefied gas in cylinders, shall be handled. Cars are not allowed in the cargo zone of tank ships carrying products with a flash point 61'C or less without the approval of the Harbour-mater.
The covers of the engine-room, boiler room and galley skylights, also external doors and port-lights in close proximity to any bulk handling operation, must remain securely closed and cowl type ventilators trimmed to prevent entry of hydrocarbon vapours. Particular attention should be given to the closing of watertight door openings onto the main deck. During the passage of severe electrical storms or gales all operations, including talking ullages shall cease.
All openings, cargo valves and gas line risers shall be closed. Barges and/or small craft (including tugs) are prohibited from approaching within 25 metres distance of ship's cargo compartments or remaining alongside during loading, discharging or ballasting of a tank ship with products with a flash point below 61'C.
Bunkering or supplying is only allowed:
a) direct from the very shore installation;
b) by boat only with the approval of the Harbourmaster.
Ship to ship transfer of products is prohibited without the permission of the Harbourmaster.

Supervision and control

All cargo cleaning, bunker and/or ballast operations should be discussed with the shore-operator(s) before commencement. Permission should be requested from the Harbour-Master. At all times adequate supervision must be carried out on deck. An emergency shut down arrangement must be set up to stop all pumping operations immediately when necessary. To carry out repairs to the main engine, fuel tanks, void spaces and other 'hot' work on board of ships approval of the Harbour-master is needed.


The number of persons allowed to board the vessel is to be restricted to a minimum. Masters are advised to consult their agents about the representatives of ship chandlers, ships laundry firms etc. whom he considers to come on board.

Port Regulations 
Last modified at 9/18/2008 10:12 AM  by Jeroen van der Veen