The COA is committed to safe, reliable and sustainable container operations and engages with leading global flexitank manufacturers and operators to implement the COA Code of Practice and industry best practice.
A flexitank is a large bladder with valve(s) that is designed to fit inside a general-purpose freight container and operate as part of a system which includes the container, flexitank, its fittings and restraining system.
The flexitank is designed for single-use transport of compatible liquids that are classified as non-dangerous goods i.e. goods not classified or regulated as dangerous goods in accordance with regulations e.g. IMDG Code.
Flexitanks may be constructed from polyethylene, polyethylene blends and polyvinyl chloride, but other materials can also be used.
The containers used for flexitanks are ISO dry freight 20 ft general purpose freight containers (ISO code 22G1). The flexitank should be a maximum of 24000kg and usually 24000 litres. Flexitanks can also be specially designed for 40ft containers and refrigerated containers.
In addition to the transport of flexitanks in accordance with the COA Code of Practice, transport is subject to the provisions of the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) and other statutory and industry requirements that might apply.
The global use of flexitank systems has grown substantially in recent years. It is estimated that more than 1.3 million flexitanks are transported annually.
COA Code of Practice
The Code of Practice requires that the COA membership of flexitank manufacturers and operators conform to the COA Quality Conformance (CQC) management system and submit their manufacturing and operating processes to independent quality audits and tests.
Conformance with the Code of Practice forms part of the COA shipping line (carriers) risk assessment process when evaluating container flexitank systems for carriage by sea.
On satisfactory completion of the audits and tests, the manufacturer achieves COA Quality Conformance (CQC). Audits are repeated periodically.
Flexitank Quality List (FQL)
The COA Flexitank Quality List (FQL) provides a list of flexitank original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and operators of flexitanks that have been awarded the COA Quality Conformance (CQC). The CQC is not issued in document form. The FQL can be downloaded from the COA website.
An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is the company that manufacturers the flexitank, constructing the flexitank from materials purchased from suppliers. The OEM designs, develops and undertakes quality assurance to its range of flexitanks. An OEM might additionally manufacturer flexitanks that have been designed or the design modified by a flexitank operator or another company. The OEM provides its manufactured flexitanks to Operators and other industrial users.
An Operator procures and manages the use of the flexitank including providing services such as supply, cargo risk assessment, transport logistics, arranging installation into the container and removal of the used flexitank and recycling. Some operators might design flexitanks to meet their own requirements (OD) and arrange manufacturer of their design by an OEM. An operator might be an associated entity of the manufacturer (OM) or an independent entity, the shipper or agent.
The FQL is used as a reference for shipping line risk assessment and is regularly updated.
The list is in two parts:
Table 1 – Holders of COA Quality Conformance CQC
Table 1 lists COA member companies that achieved the COA Quality Conformance (CQC)
Table 2 – Part completion
Table 2 lists COA member companies that completed part of the CQC process
A blank entry indicates the outstanding quality audit items