The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight.
The shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight. This requirement will become legally effective on July 1, 2016. After that date, it would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a vessel if the vessel operator and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container weight.
It is imperative that all Shippers & cargo owners understand the law and its requirements as supply chains could be impacted if not adhered to.
For more details about the new requirements, please see the following guidance from The World Shipping Council:
With regards to LCL cargo booked on our services, as we are shown as the shipper on the master ocean B/L on groupage containers, we will be responsible (on our clients behalf) to provide a VGM (Verified Gross Mass) certificate to the ocean carrier in order to meet the SOLAS and port regulations.
We will have the port authorities determine the correct VGM (through weighing the container) & thereafter submit the relevant VGM to our existing Port contacts who will in turn clear the containers for shipment.
As we need to have the containers weighed and will do so, we will not require an individual VGM certificate for your LCL shipments. We expect and assume that the weight that your suppliers submit to us on your behalf is correct and includes the packing of the cargo. It is imperative that the weight submitted to us is accurate. In addition, in the unlikely event that a container is found to be over its total permissible weight due to the incorrect weight provided by your supplier, the container will be detained by the port authority and all cargo will have to be removed/checked and weighed. If any supplier (on your behalf) have been subsequently found to have mis-declared the gross weight then any associated costs will be passed on to the clients to be taken up with their respective supplier.
This legislation is not applicable for Ro-Ro vessels so the LTL cargo will remain unvaried for the time being. We will inform you of any new procedures in due course when this will be the case.
For further information please feel free to contact and we will be more than glad to assist you.