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9 IMO Classes of Dangerous Goods

Hello Folks,

Let’s talk about IMO Classes today.

There are 9 IMO Classes under which substances or articles as classified as UN Nos. in each class, basis on the properties they possess.

This is just a brief of all the IMO Classes. Next blogs will be dedicated to each class in detail.

IMO Class 1 – Explosives

(Net Explosive weight is a unique attribute of Class 1)

Further divided into 6 hazard divisions

Division 1.1 – Substances & articles which have a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.2 – Substances & articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.3 – Substances & articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.4 – Substances & articles, which present no significant hazard.

Division 1.5 – Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard.

Division 1.6 – Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard.

IMO Class 2 – Gases

Divided into 3 divisions

Class 2.1 – Flammable gases

Class 2.2 – Non-flammable, non-toxic gases

Class 2.3 – Toxic gases

IMO Class 3 – Flammable liquids

(Flash-point is a unique attribute of IMO Class 3)

IMO Class 4 – Flammable solids

Further divided into 3 divisions

Class 4.1 – Flammable solids, self-reactive substances (Control and Emergency temperatures are unique attributes), solid desensitized explosives & polymerizing substances

Class 4.2 – Substances liable to spontaneous combustion

Class 4.3 – Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases.

IMO Class 5

Further sub-divided into 2 divisions

Class 5.1 – Oxidizing substances

Class 5.2 – Organic peroxides (Control and Emergency temperatures are unique attributes)

IMO Class 6

Further sub-divided into 2 divisions

Class 6.1 – Toxic substances

Class 6.2 – Infectious substances

IMO Class 7 – Radioactive material

IMO Class 8 – Corrosive substances

IMO Class 9 – Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles & environmentally hazardous substances.

Outlook on Indian Chemical Industry

Chemical industry in India is one of the growing sectors and contributes significantly towards national GDP, estimated to contribute 7% in the GDP.

The Indian Chemical industry is the 6th largest in the world and 3rd largest in Asia.

Classification of Chemical Industry

The key sectors of India’s Chemical industry are inorganic chemicals, alkali chemicals, organic chemicals, dyes, and pesticides with its production in the respective order. India also exports agro-chemicals to most of the countries across the world. The chemical industry in India can be classified depending on the following categories:

    1. Drugs and Pharmaceuticals:

It holds the 4th place in the world when compared to terms of volume of this sector.

    1. Pesticides, Fertilizers, and Agro-chemical Products:

India holds almost 2.5% of the global market in this sector. It has around 10% of the domestic market.

    1. Plastics and Petrochemicals:

It is the fastest growing industry amongst all the areas. Reliance Petrochemical is the dominant company in this sector.

    1. Dyes and Paints:

It is a highly diversified sector that includes paints, inks, dyes, and other chemical products. It has a growth rate of around 12%.

    1. Inorganic Chemicals:

The growth rate of this sector is near about 9%, and the detergents, glass, fertilizers, and alkalis are majorly produced chemicals in India.


Countries in which India Export Chemicals:

India exports chemicals almost all across the world, but the USA and China have been the major two destinations for the past two years. To have a better idea of India’s export performance in this sector is to have a list for each category like cosmetics, dyes, special chemicals, lubricants, toiletries, essential oils, and others.

Here is the list of the top countries where India exports chemicals like organic, inorganic and agro-chemical:

1. The U.S.A (USD 1071 million)

2. China (USD 694 million)

3. Indonesia (USD 514 million)

4. Malaysia (USD 421 million)

5. Brazil (USD 399 million)

Exporter of cosmetics, toiletries, and essential oils in countries like:

1. UAE (USD 179 million)

2. USA (USD 146 million)

3. Bangladesh (USD 86 million)

4. Saudi Arabia (USD 85 million)

5. Nepal (USD 73 million)

India exports dyes majorly in the following countries:

1. USA (USD 217 million)

2. Turkey (USD 182 million)

3. China (USD 139 million)

4. Italy (USD 124 million)

5. Brazil (USD 117 million)

India is the top exporter of special chemicals, lubricants and castor oil in countries like:

1. China (USD 216 million)

2. Netherlands (USD 126 million)

3. USA (USD 94 million)

4. France (USD 93 million)

5. Malaysia (USD 68 million)


Data Source - Google