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22.03.2024 - Blog

Inventory of Hazardous Materials on Ships

Track your IHM in an integrated HM system – all you need to know as a shipowner concerning inventory of hazardous materials.

Creating an IHM is one of the fundamental practices that keep the maritime industry safe and sustainable.

The concept of an inventory for hazardous materials was initially proposed to enhance the management and disposal of hazardous materials during the decommissioning of ships. Yet, having hazardous materials on board also puts the health and safety of crew members and others at risk.

Illustration of CAUTION: Hazardous waste

What is IHM?

Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM) is a comprehensive document identifying all potentially hazardous materials onboard a vessel. Hidden hazards are identified, located, and quantified under IMO Resolution guidelines. This list is now required for the EU Ship Recycling Regulation 2013. It replaces the Green Passport that was required by the Hong Kong International Convention in 2009.

Other Frequently Asked Questions about IHM→

Why do you need Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)?

Ships over 500 GT must have an IHM when operating in the marine environment. Navy ships and domestic ships are excluded.

The inventory replaces the Green Passport, adopted in the Hong Kong International Convention in 2009. It is a requirement by the IMO RESOLUTION MEPC.269(68) and EU Ship Recycling Regulation 2013.

Ensure compliance with HM Inventory

The IHM is an important part of ship management and should not be ignored to ensure the safety of the environment, crew, and passengers on board. Regulation 5.3 of the Hong Kong Convention states that the IHM “shall be properly maintained and updated throughout the operational life of the ship.”

Completing an IHM is just the initial step toward compliance. The ship owner is responsible to ensure that the inventory comply with the following regulations:

  • Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (2009)
  • EU Ship Recycling regulations (SRR)

Prepare for IHM certification

Manage the hidden hazards onboard ships as a natural part of your internal processes. By integrating a Hazardous Materials (HM) system, you ensure a seamless certification process for IHM maintenance.

Two primary certificates essential for IHM compliance are the International Certificate on Inventory of Hazardous Materials and the International Ready for Recycling Certificate.

Streamline the preparation and upkeep of IHM across your fleet using the provided templates in SERTICA.

IHM preparations include:

  • Research which hazardous materials you have onboard
  • Identify purchase orders containing hazardous materials (e.g. in relation to dry dock and hull painting or asbestos and Ozone Depleting Substances)
  • Send Material Declaration (MD) and Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) templates to your suppliers
  • Set up Analytics Report in SERTICA

Choose a designated Person

When creating IHM, the IMO Guidelines say that the shipowner must choose someone to keep the inventory up to date.” The designated person may be employed ashore or on board”. (Res. MEPC.269(68) -Paragraph 5.2.1).

The person in charge must have the correct qualifications or receive the appropriate training. This will ensure that they comply with the Convention and EU SRR. Understanding IMO and European guidelines such as EMSA and ECSA is important. These guidelines can assist shipowners in establishing a robust inventory maintenance system.

Also, this person is responsible for recording all changes made during ship conversions or repairs. This includes updating the IHM report for any new installations or changes to the ship’s structure, machinery, and equipment. Additionally, they must furnish necessary documents for surveys or ship sales.

Even though the designated person is important, the shipowner is ultimately responsible for maintaining the vessel’s IHM throughout its lifetime.”

Advantages of a IHM System

By the IMO Guidelines for IHM Development (Res. MEPC.269(68)- Paragraph 5.2.2), it is mandatory to establish a system for the continual update of the inventory.

The shipowner and a qualified IHM expert should work together to create the system. This will help establish clear communication channels and procedures. Ensuring IHM compliance for the entire lifespan of the vessel is important.

Operating within an HM system reduces the administrative workload for IHM preparation and maintenance. Managing IHM in SERTICA enables easy identification of hazardous materials onboard, providing complete transparency for procurement and maintenance processes.

Key benefits:

  • Greater visibility and control over hazardous materials  
  • Empowering informed decision-making for material replacement and disposal  
  • Simplified audits with traceable documentation  
  • Ensuring a safer working environment for your crew 

Learn more about key features and benefits in the Item Certificate module managing IHM in SERTICA→