International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk (International Grain Code)

The 1991 International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk (International Grain Code), adopted by resolution MSC.23(59), has been mandatory under SOLAS chapter VI since 1 January 1994.

Application of grain code

The International Grain Code applies to ships regardless of size, including those of less than 500 gross tonnage, engaged in the carriage of grain in bulk and to which part C of SOLAS chapter VI applies. The purpose of the Code is to provide an international standard for the safe carriage of grain in bulk.

The contents of the International Grain Code are divided as follows:

  • Part A – Specific Requirements
  •  Section 1 – Application
  • Section 2 – Definitions
  • Section 3 – Document of authorization
  • Section 4 – Equivalents
  • Section 5 – Exemptions for certain voyages
  • Section 6 – Information regarding ship’s stability and grain loading
  • Section 7 – Stability – Requirements
  • Section 8 – Stability requirements for existing ships
  • Section 9 – Optional stability requirements for ships without documents of authorization carrying partial cargoes of bulk grain
  • Section 10 – Stowage of bulk grain
  • Section 11 – Strength of grain fittings
  • Section 12 – Divisions loaded on both sides
  • Section 13 – Divisions loaded on one side only
  • Section 14 – Saucers
  • Section 15 – Bundling of bulk grain
  • Section 16 – Overstowing arrangements
  • Section 17 – Strapping or lashing
  • Section 18 – Securing with wire mesh  
  • Part B – Calculation of assumed heeling moments and general assumptions
  • Section 1 – General Assumptions
  • Section 2 – Assumed volumetric heeling moment of a filled compartment, trimmed
  • Section 3 – Assumed volumetric heeling moment of a filled compartment, untrimmed
  • Section 4 – Assumed volumetric heeling moments in trunks
  • Section 5 – Assumed volumetric heeling moment of a partly filled compartment
  • Section 6 – Other assumptions


  • To prove compliance with IMO GRAIN CODE, a document of authorization is issued for every ship that intend to carry grain and also satisfies all the required conditions of the code.
  • This document must be incorporated into a ship specific grain loading manual.
  • Issued or approved by flag state administration.
  • A vessel without DOA may be permitted to carry grain, provided master can demonstrate compliance with terms of code.


  • Angle of heel should not be more than 12 degrees.
  • The initial GM after correction of Free surface effect of liquid in tanks should not be less than 0.30m.
  • Ship should be upright before proceeding to the sea after loading.
  • Before loading bulk grain the master shall, if so required by the Contracting Government of the country of the port of loading, demonstrate the ability of the ship at all stages of any voyage to comply with the stability criteria required by this section.


  • Following are the points must be considered but not be limited to for preparation of hold for loading grain.
    • Cargo Holds must be thoroughly cleaned and dry and trace of previous cargo in frames, beams, girders, and other structure.
    • Burlap should be laid and nailed down over the bilges to prevent grain from entering the bilge.
    • Compartment must be free from any odour.
    • Bilges to be free and clean, dry and free from any stain.
    • There should not be any loose rust and or paint scale anywhere in the Cargo holds
    • Ventilation should be checked.
    • Spaces shall be checked or inspected for insect infestation and fumigation if required.
    • Any fumigation shall be carried out in accordance with IMO recommendations.


  • 1. Shifting Boards (Filled / Partly Filled Compartment
  • 2. Saucers (Filled Compartment)
  • 3. Bundling of Grain (Filled Compartment)
  • 4. Over-stowing Arrangements (Partly Filled Compartment)
  • 5. Strapping or Lashing (Partly Filled Compartment)
  • 6. Securing with Wire Mesh (Partly Filled Compartment)


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