DDGS earn official classification, exports increase to Japan

By Staff | February 14, 2013

The U.S Grains Council has officially announced the classification of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as a nonhazardous cargo under the International Maritime Organization. The achievement was a culmination of a process initiated by the USGC in 2010, in coordination with DDGS producers, shippers, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The Council successfully organized the effort to classify DDGS as a nonhazardous material. That classification ensured lower freight costs to me, in turn increasing returns to ethanol plants," said Steve Markham of Council member CHS Inc.

According to the USCG, the recommendation of the relevant IMO subcommittee and acceptance of that recommendation were obtained in 2010 and 2011. Turning a proposal into a mandatory classification, however, is a multi-year process, said Erick Erickson, USGC director of global strategies.

The IMO accepted the proposal to classify DDGS as non-hazardous in November 2010, after which the Coast Guard issued a letter to the USGC affirming that it would consider DDGS as nonhazardous. That letter is no longer needed, as the categorization of DDGS as nonhazardous is now final.

The USGC has also reported that DDGS exports to Japan have increased substantially. During the January-October 2012 reporting period,  DDGS exports to Japan reached an all-time high. According to the U.S. Grains Council, Japan imported more than 384,000 metric tons of DDGS. Exports for the entire year were expected to reach 450,000 metric tons.