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SOLAS – Verified Gross Mass Regulations

The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its 93rd session (May 2014) approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention regarding a mandatory container weight verification requirement on shippers. This is an effort WSC has been advocating for many years. Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargo and Containers (DSC) Sub-committee approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention that will require verification of container weights before loaded containers may be placed aboard ships. The DSC report was approved by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2014 and adopted by MSC in November 2014. The requirement making container weight verification a condition for vessel loading became legally binding on July 1, 2016.

According to the amendment of the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the declaration of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) is mandatory for a packed export container before loading on board vessels within a prescribed cut-off date & time to the shipping line and / or port terminal authorities.  The accurate gross mass of a packed container is essential to ensure the correct stowage, stacking and to avoid collapse of container stacks or loss overboard.  This requirement is a significant safety measure aiming to save lives, prevent injury and / or the property destruction.

Effective 1st July 2016, this regulation stipulates the shipper or representative to declare the VGM of each export container on the shipping documentation (SI, VGM format and Good Control Sheet) submittal to the shipping line and / or port terminal officials in advance.  The Verified Gross Mass per container is the sum of cargo weight, securing material weight and tare weight of container.  The VGM declaration should be signed by shipper’s authorized person.  Any packed container with no advance VGM information will be rejected from loading onto a vessel.

Without VGM declaration prior gate-in, the shipper or representative will be liable for all related costs charged by the terminal such as: weighing charge, lift on/off, etc.  In case the terminal has no weighbridge or equipment, any associated costs like storage, trucking, demurrage and detention, pre-carriage/on-carriage, re-nomination/change of vessel fee, terminal charges, etc. will be invoiced to the shipper or representative.

Last but not least, we do hope above notification will reach your high attention and look forward to your compliance and collaboration properly.

Cranes And Equipment Asia Co.,Ltd.

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