EHS Working Group: Environmental Hazards of Harmful Substances

Studying the behaviour of chemicals in the sea, identifying floaters at CEDRE (France)

Lead Agency: International Maritime Organization

The GESAMP/EHS Working Group was established in 1974 to evaluate the environmental hazards of harmful substances carried by ship and provide related advice, as requested, particulary by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The hazard evaluations are carried out based on the criteria set out in the GESAMP Reports and Studies No.64 – Revised GESAMP Hazard Evaluation Procedure for Chemical Substances Carried by Ships, 2nd edition (2014). This procedure has been revised a number of times since the EHS WG was first established to reflect changes and improvements in the established methodologies for assessing hazard end-points over time. This current edition of the procedure replaces all previous versions. The EHS Working Group meets once a year to evaluate submissions of harmful liquid substances and to assign what are known as ‘GESAMP Hazard Profiles (GHP)’ for the respective substances. The resulting profiles are added to a rolling list containing all GHPs assigned by the Working Group since its inception, which is updated and published annually by IMO.

The results of these evaluations are then used to establish appropriate carriage requirements by IMO bodies for the bulk transport of such ‘noxious hazards substances’ by ship, in accordance with the provisions set out in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code).

Photo: GESAMP WG 1