The World Shipping Council, the TT Club, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association and the Global Shippers’ Forum have jointly released a second Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document designed to support the smooth implementation of the container weighing regulations that take effect globally on July 1, 2016, according to The Maritime Executive.
The amendments to International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) require packed shipping containers to have a verified gross mass (VGM) before they can be loaded on a ship for export.
The rules prescribe two methods for shippers to obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container. Under Method 1, upon conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged for a third party to weigh, the packed container. Under Method 2, the shipper or, by arrangement of the shipper, a third party may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the container’s contents.
Some of the FAQs explain in more detail how the SOLAS container verified gross mass requirements should be fulfilled in various circumstances as described in questions received from supply chain parties. Other supplementary FAQs give additional information regarding the two methods that may be used under the SOLAS VGM requirements to obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container.
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Editors Insight: Indications are that the requirement, which takes effect this Friday, will bring additional costs for weighing verified gross mass (VGM) that will have to be passed on to shippers.
According to one Los Angeles-based freight forwarder interviewed by Sourcing Journal, ocean carriers are leaving compliance up to freight forwarders. Since carriers each have their own VGM filing system, the freight forwarder has to file the VGMs separately for each carrier.
The weights have to be verified before loading, so truckers are offering to weigh containers for a fee, Sourcing Journal also noted.
Industry organizations are working hard to make stakeholders aware of the new rule and how to comply with it. Shippers will have to establish weight verification procedures. There will be additional costs. 6-29-16 By Elliot Maras