US proposal aims to update DDGS classification
Following a series of tests and a gathering of technical information, the United States submitted 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).
There has been confusion at times regarding DDGS’ shipping classification, which has led to shipping disruptions, increasing the potential for higher transportation costs. Concerns by insurance companies and shippers came up because DDGS is not classified by IMO. Without a classification, insurance companies consider DDGS to be “seed cake,” which is generally classified as a hazardous material.
The U.S. Grains Council spearheaded an industry effort that sponsored laboratory tests and gathered technical information to encourage the classification of DDGS as a non-hazardous material. Tests included those for self-heating and combustion, as well as oxygen depletion measurements and temperature tests on actual DDGS shipments. All tests were positive for DDGS and fell below standards used to classify a material as hazardous.
The Council’s Erick Erickson contacted the U.S. 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 then endorsed the proposal and submitted the document to IMO for its consideration.
DDGS has been shipped as bulk product for more than 25 years and there is no record of any incidents involving DDGS as a result of self-heating, spontaneous combustion or oxygen depletion.
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