IMDS-Number: A Summary

An IMDS-Number is required in the compilation and administration of material data sheets for the automotive industry. Since there is often a confusion in concepts when it comes to this topic we shall present a summary on the most important numbers in IMDS.

Raw Material Number

A raw material listed in the IMDS mostly comprises of different basic substances. For instance, steel as a raw material consists of many alloys besides iron. Should the raw material be mentioned in an international norm then the raw material number listed there for it has to be stated.

Basic Substance Number (CAS Number)

Most basic substances in the IMDS, i.e. elements from the periodic table or chemical and organic compounds, are identified by CAS numbers. These numbers are also known as "IMDS ID No." or "CAS Number for Basic Substances". About 8000 basic substances are listed in the IMDS, classified into three basic substance types. "Normal basic substances" have a CAS No. by which they can clearly be classified, for instance water. There can be various synonyms for basic substances hence they are best looked up by their CAS numbers.

"Pseudo substances" like "acrylic resin" or "horse hair" have no CAS numbers. "Joker" or "Wild Card", the third type of basic substances, are substances that fall under the category of "Miscellaneous" or "Not yet defined". A raw material may contain only up to 10% of such substances; declarable or banned substances may not be categorised here. The IMDS system specifies nine such "Wild Cards" their CAS number is called "system".


The IMDS-ID (IMDS Company ID) is not to be confused with the IMDS-ID-No. (CAS Number). The IMDS-ID is an international registration number received by all automobile suppliers using the International Material Data System.

One can apply for the number at mdsystem. Since the number is system-generated there is no information available since when a company or an organisation has been registered in the IMDS. A company with a 60,000 ID number is a more recent member than a company with a 1000 number. Holding companies only receive a "roof company ID", they can however apply for further ID numbers for several business units. In business practice even these are often simply referred to as "IMDS Numbers".


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