News 462 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Hazardous classification DDGS hampers export

The United States has transmitted a proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations body that establishes international shipping rules, regarding the shipping classification of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

About eight months ago, the US Grains Council became actively involved in the confusion raised over the shipping classification of DDGS, which has led to disruptions in the shipping of the ethanol coproduct, increasing the potential of significant cost hikes for transportation.
The concerns were raised by insurance companies and shippers, as DDGS is not currently classified by the IMO. In the absence of this classification, insurance companies consider it “seed cake,” generally classified as a hazardous material.
The Council spearheaded an industry effort that sponsored laboratory tests and gathered technical information to encourage the classification of DDGS as a non-hazardous material.
Erick Erickson, USGC special assistant to the president, contacted the US Coast Guard, which represents the United States in the IMO, and submitted the findings.
The Coast Guard worked with the Council to develop a proposal, and endorsed the proposal and submitted the document to the IMO for its consideration.
“If the proposal is approved by the IMO, this new classification will eliminate confusion as it will clearly define DDGS as non-hazardous,” said Erickson. “In the interim, we can share the proposal with insurance companies and ship owners to educate them about the safety of shipping DDGS.”

Dick Ziggers

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