onboard Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)

Client Corner: Meeting the IHM deadline without an extension

Nov. 30 2020 - 5 min

By the fast-approaching end of this calendar year, ship owners and operators will need to have an onboard Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM).

What is an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)?

An Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) is a verified report that lists specific hazardous materials in ship structure or fixed equipment that represent a potential risk to crew or the environment.

Ship owners must develop an IHM to comply with the European Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR), which was adopted in December 2013. This regulation aims to reduce negative health, safety and environmental impacts of ship recycling by helping ship recycling facilities identify and properly manage hazardous materials.

What is the deadline for having an IHM report?

The deadline for having a verified IHM report onboard is December 31, 2020. 

Will there be an extension for having an IHM report?

No. Despite interruptions to shipping activity in 2020, the deadline for developing an IHM report remains December 31, 2020. Ship owners and operators will not be granted an extension.

What is the process for developing an IHM report?

The first step in developing an IHM report is for experts to gather and assess existing information to identify which onboard structures and equipment should be inspected. Once hazardous or potentially hazardous materials or structures have been identified, a preliminary checklist is created. This can be developed into a Visual/Sampling Check Plan, which experts use to conduct targeted inspection and sampling of equipment, systems and areas with hazardous materials.

Using the Visual/Sampling Check Plan, an IHM expert will go onboard to perform the necessary inspections and collect samples for laboratory testing. Based on the inspection and laboratory test results, the expert can generate an IHM report and issue the necessary documents, preparing a ship for independent initial certification.

How long does it take to develop an IHM report?

Depending on vessel type and size, planning and developing an IHM report that includes laboratory test results takes at least 6 weeks. Independent certification is then required.

Do ships need any other documents to comply with IHM requirements?

Yes. Ships sailing under EU flags must also carry an International Certificate of Inventory of Hazardous Materials onboard. For non-EU-flagged vessels docking in European ports, an equivalent Statement of Compliance is required.       

What services does Bureau Veritas provide to help ship owners develop an IHM report?

Bureau Veritas Solutions – Marine & Offshore can develop and verify an IHM report for ship owners, operators and managers. Our experts provide a Visual/Sampling Check Plan, onboard inspection and laboratory testing services for ships of all types, generating comprehensive IHM documentation.

Our digital application, Praxis IHM, enables ship owners to meet IHM report development and in-service maintenance requirements, ensuring that the IHM is kept up-to-date during operations.

Praxis IHM provides reliable and traceable records, generates survey checklists for changes made to the inventory, and keeps owners up-to-date on their IHM certification. Shipbuilders can also use the app to assist with developing an IHM during the construction phase, enabling the inventory to be delivered along with the ship.