New Updates On IHM Guidelines


The Inventory of Hazardous Materials(IHM) is an inventory of materials present in a ship’s structure, systems and equipment that may be hazardous to health or the environment.  The new 2015 Guidelines for the Development of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, RESOLUTION MEPC.269 (68), have been adopted by the MEPC 68 meeting and supersede Resolution MEPC.197 (62) published in 2011.

The main changes that influence the preparation and certification of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) are:

  • Threshold values
  • Bulk listing of common items
  • Exemptions
  • Loosely fitted equipment
  • Listing of radioactive sources


The Committee has revised the threshold values for 13 controlled hazardous substances.  The revised threshold values to be used for materials added after adoption and not on the existing materials.  The revised threshold values should be applied and recorded in the IHM when new materials are added during maintenance.  The Material Declaration has also been updated in accordance with the revised threshold values.
The asbestos threshold value is changed from “no threshold level” to 0.1%. A 1% threshold value can be applied not later than five years after the entry into force of the Convention.  This should be recorded in the Inventory and, if available, the Material Declaration.  The threshold value of 0.1% does not need to be retroactively applied to existing IHMs.  The revised threshold values are stated in Tables A and B below




          Identical or common items such as but not limited to bolts, nuts and valves, need not be listed individually.  Similar items can be listed together. The locations can be generalized, e.g. the location may only include the primary classification such as “throughout the ship”. For example:



        A new guidelines give a different definition to the word “exemption”.   As per the guidelines “Exemptions” are materials that do not need to be listed on the IHM, even if such materials or items exceed the IHM threshold values.  There are two kinds of exemptions that are specified in paragraph 3.3

  • Table B materials in general construction:
             Materials listed in table B that are inherent in solid metals or metal alloys, such as steels, aluminiums, brasses, bronzes, plating and solders, provided they are used in general construction, such as hulls, superstructures, pipes, or housings for equipment and machinery, are not required to be listed in the IHM.
  • Printed circuit boards:
     Although electrical and electronic equipment is required to be listed in the Inventory, the amount of hazardous materials potentially contained in printed wiring boards (printed circuit boards) installed in the equipment does not need to be reported in the Inventory.  Table D, regular consumable goods potentially containing hazardous materials, provides examples of electrical and electronic equipment and more detailed information.



         A new definition of “fixed” and “loosely fitted” has been added in the revised Guidelines. Hence loosely fitted equipment and batteries should now be listed in Part III of the Inventory.

Loosely fitted equipment

         Loosely fitted equipment needn’t be listed in Part I of the Inventory and such equipment should be listed in part III. A clear definition of “Fixed” and “Loosely fitted” has been added to the new Guidelines:
Fixed means the conditions that equipment or materials are securely fitted with the ship, such as: by welding or with bolts, riveted or cemented and used at their position, including electrical cables and gaskets.
Loosely fitted equipment means equipment or materials present on board the ship by the conditions other than “fixed”, such as fire extinguishers, distress flares, and lifebuoys.


        Batteries containing lead acid or other hazardous materials that are fixed in place should be listed in Part I of the Inventory. Batteries that are loosely fitted, including consumer batteries and batteries in stores, and thus  stated in Table D, should be listed in Part III of the Inventory.


         All radioactive sources should be included in Material Declarations and in the Inventory.  A radioactive source means radioactive material permanently sealed in a capsule or closely bonded and in a solid form that is used as a source of radiation (not radioactive residues or contamination).  This includes consumer products and industrial gauges containing radioactive materials.  Radioactive sources should be included in the Inventory, regardless of the number, amount of radioactivity or type of radionuclide.  A new appendix (Appendix 10) has been added to give examples of radioactive sources, and it is shown how to list a radioactive source in the IHM: