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SOLAS Amendments

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Conventions that requires packed container gross mass to be verified prior to accepting the container at origin and/or on board vessel.

The SOLAS regulatory change requiring a shipper to provide verified gross MASS weight (VGM) for every container will become effective July 1, 2016.

Here are some key points:

  • All containers scheduled for loading onto vessels sailing on or after July 1, 2016 will require a VGM
  • The Shipper (listed as shipper in the bill of lading or sea waybill) is responsible for providing the VGM to the carrier in reasonable time prior to vessel loading.
  • The VGM consists of cargo weight including packaging and dunnage (securing) materials and tare weight of container.
  • The Carrier is responsible for relaying the VGM to its terminal.
  • Container means ALL containers; standard containers, tank containers, flat racks and bulk containers.
  • The Data to be provided to the carrier consists of the VGM and the shipper’s (Individual’s) authorized signature (can be electronic). Local/national Laws/Rules might require additional data, processes or documents (e.g. weighing note). *** Amended and can be electronically transmitted
  • The Scale used for weighing has to be calibrated/certified in accordance with local/national Rules.

There are two Approaches for calculating the VGM:

  1. Weigh the packed/loaded Full container – weight scale charges apply
  2. Weigh all packages, packaging and dunnage material and add the tare weight of the container

This is a mandatory requirement and Carriers WILL NOT LOAD containers without having validated VGM.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office accordingly.

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