The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Shipping Council, trade organizations that represent container liner companies, will require verification of container weights at origin set for July 1, 2016. The amendment created to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires the verified gross mass (VGM) of containers to be documented before they can be loaded on ships.
SOLAS VGM Article Search Download Full VGM FAQ Guide
- The OCEMA suggestions are not binding in and of themselves
- “No VGM, no load” (freight will be rolled until next vessel and VGM is then provided)
- VGM can be submitted electronically via these methods:
- EDI messaged called VERMAS with code of 304
- GT Nexus
- or via the carrier’s own electronic portal
Source: American Shipper
Clarity on the “Calculation Method”
According to American Shipper, “The so-called calculation method stipulates that shippers or forwarders total the weight of all cargo and packing materials inside the container and add the tare weight of the container. Export shippers have argued they shouldn’t be held responsible for verifying the weight of equipment they don’t own or maintain.” OCEMA’s reply to this states, “It is acceptable for shippers to rely upon the tare weight being made available by the ocean carrier.” “The shipper would not be certifying the accuracy of the container tare weight printed on the container.”
OCEMA members include APL, ACL, CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, China Shipping, Evergreen Line, Hamburg Sud, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., MOL, NYK Line, OOCL, UASC, Yang Ming, and ZIM.
For more information on VGM, click here.
For more full article details, visit American Shipper.
Question and Answer Forum: SOLAS Weight Verification Requirement Revisited
In hopes questions that are left unanswered, will have answers, we plan to bring our experts back.
Register Now for access to our FREE webinar on July 13, 2016
Q&A SOLAS Forum from Scarbrough International on Vimeo.
American Shipper Research – Eric Johnson
Scarbrough Cares for You – Patrick Colligan
Who is responsible to provide container weight? Answer
Weight scale program is already certified whats next? Answer
Will scales need to be certified by outside agencies? Answer
How and to who should I provide the information to? Answer
Should the shipper actually be responsible for the weight? Answer
Is there going to be a variants allow? Answer
Can forwarders with a POA sign in behalf of a company? Answer
What is the total weight allowed? Answer
What is the responsibility or liability of the consignee? Answer
Who is responsable for LCL Cargo? Answer
What if there is a discrepancy? Answer
Weighting vs Timing Answer
Will this affect contracts between shippers and carriers? Answer
How is Scarbrough assisting their clients? Answer
Any relation between VGM and AES process? Answer
Multivendor Consolidation for Scarbrough Answer
Is this a worldwide regulation? Answer
Other Helpful Sources:
Journal of Commerce – US won’t delay