Inputs indicate that China has been exporting hazardous materials without exercising the prescribed safety precautions under International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBS Code). Most of such materials are sent as fertilizers. Even the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) issued by Chinese companies avoid mentioning the correct and specific nature of the product like their remarks on explosive hazards.
During one such incident on 01 Oct 2021, MV Star Luster V 202104 that was carrying Sodium Metabisulphite exported by New China Chemicals Company Ltd, based at Tianjin, China, which was loaded from Port of Tianjin, China on July 22, 2021 reached Port of Durban, South Africa by end of Sep 2021. The vessel on 01 Oct 2021 started emitting toxic brown fumes that created chaos at the Port. Consignment bill issued by the China Marine Shipping Agency, Tianjin Company Ltd indicates Sodium Metabisulphite only under the head description of goods whereas in actual, the consignment sent by Chinese company had 6 different items, sent as fertilizers i.e Sodium Metabisulphite, Calcium Nitrate Granular, Magnesium Nitrate, Mono Ammonium Phosphate, Zinc Sulphate and Mono Potassium Phosphate.
Out of these cargoes, two are listed as hazardous goods and assigned UN numbers. There is no declaration of any hazardous goods by the Chinese Shipping Company. A chemical analysis report indicates that except for Mono potassium phosphate, all the other five chemicals onboard the vessel has explosive properties.