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Smoking regulations for cargo ships when carrying dangerous goods

It is very important that strict regulations pertaining to smoking put into place onboard seagoing cargo ships and the following guideline will outline some of these measures. Nearly all fires, which have happened due smoking , could have been avoided.



In all cases, smoking is only permitted at the discretion of the Master. Local terminal and port regulations concerning smoking must also be strictly enforced. Failure to obey these instructions may result in fire or explosion. Shore authorities will also take severe action against the ship where regulations have been disobeyed.

Smoking regulations for cargo ships

Smoking to be strictly prohibited in the following areas:

  1. Any area outside the accommodation boundaries.
  2. Alleyways and corridors.
  3. In bed
  4. All galleys, stores and food preparation areas.
  5. All storerooms including linen lockers and laundry rooms
  6. Machinery spaces and workshops
  7. Any additional part of the vessel that the Master and Chief Engineer decide that smoking is prohibited in the interest of safety and hygiene.
  8. Smoking is allowed in the engine control room at the discretion of the Chief Engineer and Master.

Vessels not carrying dangerous cargo

Shore labour employed on board may be allowed to smoke during their legitimate rest periods where a safe area on the poop deck is available. This will be at the Master’s discretion. Receptacles must be made available for cigarette ends and matchsticks.

The Master may also designate selected areas of open deck, on dry cargo vessels, abaft the accommodation block in order to permit controlled fires for cooking purposes where local custom dictates. On such occasions suitable fire fighting precautions are to be placed in the vicinity ready for immediate use.


Vessels carrying dangerous cargo

1. In port (or when engaged in tank cleaning or gas freeing) up to three areas may be designated as smoking areas. Notices are to be clearly posted identifying these locations. Such designated Smoking areas must not lead directly onto the cargo deck and access doors are to be kept closed.

The designated smoking places must be agreed in writing between the responsible officer and the terminal representative before operations start. The responsible officer must ensure that all persons onboard the tanker are informed of the selected places for smoking and that suitable notices, in addition to the tanker’s permanent notices, are displayed. While the tanker is moored at a terminal, even when no operations are in progress, smoking can only be permitted in designating smoking places.

2. A complete ban on smoking may be imposed by certain shore authorities. In such a case the Master is to ensure that the appropriate instructions are issued to all on board and that the ban is strictly enforced.


Warning notices

1. Warning notices are to be clearly displayed at all points of access making clear the restrictions in force. An example of such a notice is to be found at the end of this section.

2. On Dry Cargo vessels, “NO SMOKING” notices are to be displayed or clearly painted within the cargo space and hold accesses.

3. In cases where the shore authority’s regulations are in excess to the Company’s, the Master is to ensure that suitable notices are displayed which clearly define the restrictions in force.


Matches and ashtrays

Only approved safety matches are to be used. Cigarette lighters are not permitted. No matches are to be taken out of the approved smoking areas. In all places where smoking is permitted it is absolutely essential that cigarette ends, matchsticks, etc be placed in receptacles provided for this purpose. Self-extinguishing safety ashtrays must be used in all cabins and smoking rooms.



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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
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