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SOLAS regulations – container weight verification requirement

The amended Safety of Life at Sea regulations (SOLAS) will be effective as of 1st July 2016.  This means that as of that date, all packed containers will require a verified gross mass (= VGM) documentation to be loaded aboard a vessel.

This measure aims to prevent accidents at sea due to overweight containers.

The shipper will be responsible for obtaining, documenting and transmitting the VGM of the containers before entering the port terminal.  An estimation of weight is not permitted.

The SOLAS regulations prescribe 2 methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container :

  1. The shipper (or a third party) may weigh the packed and sealed container using calibrated and certified equipment.  This method is appropriate for any kind of goods packed in a container.
  2. The shipper may add up the weight of each package stuffed in the container, the packaging and securing material, and the tare weight of the utilized container.  This method needs to be certified and approved by a national regulatory body.

A packed container for which the verified gross mass has not been obtained will not be loaded onto the vessel.  Loading a packed container without VGM will be an offence against an official SOLAS regulation.

We will inform you as soon as possible about the practical arrangements for transmitting the VGM of your containers.

For more informations please navigate to this link : http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/faqs

Source : World Shipping Council

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