New SOLAS Regulation
For a very long time, the declaration of shipping weights has been required but the verification of shipping weights has not. Due to incorrect weights being declared, many unsafe conditions for the vessels at sea and their crews have been caused.
The new SOLAS regulation of verified container weights became effective on July 1st, 2016. This new regulation has affected the entire ocean freight industry. The regulation declares the container weight to be the legal responsibility of the shipper. This article provides an outline of the important facts that everybody in the ocean shipping industry needs to know.
SHIPPING LINES CANNOT BY LAW LOAD A CONTAINER ON TO A VESSEL WITHOUT THE VGM WEIGHT DECLARATION.
What is a Verified Gross Container Mass (VGM)?
It is not the Gross Weight of the actual cargo.
The VGM is actually the weight of all cargo loaded, including any packing materials such as straps, pallets, blankets, etc. plus the weight of the container as declared on the door plate of the container.
How do you comply? What are your options?
There are two methods allowed when providing a VGM to a shipping line. It is said that Method 1 is the easiest option, but comes with an extra cost depending on the weight stations.
Take the loaded container over a weighbridge. Please note that these weighbridges need to meet certain criteria. (The scales have to be properly calibrated and certified in agreement with the national standards of the country where the weighing takes place). Once the loaded container is weighed, subtract the weight of the truck, fuel, and chassis to get the weight of the loaded container.
Example: Total Weight
-Truck, chassis, fuel, etc.
The second option available is to weigh each item. The shipper would need to declare the weight of all cargo, packing materials, securing materials and add the container tare weight (as declared on the container).
+ Packing & Securing Materials
+ Container Tare Weight
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