Further to our last industry update titled “Changes to Export Container Notifications” relating to the changes to the SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) requirements surrounding Verified Gross Mass (VGM). The following information will shed some light on therevised SOLAS container weight verification requirements that have changed and are scheduled to come into effect globally on July 1, 2016.
What is SOLAS and VGM?
SOLAS is regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerningsafety of merchant ships. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the SOLAS Convention to require, all export containers have a verified weight.
The shipper is responsiblefor the verification of the export container’s weight. It will be a violation of SOLAS to load an export container onto a vessel if the vessel operator and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container weight.
Why is this happening?
Any export container that leaves Australia MUST have a VGM declared on the shipping documents. This is ensure safety of ships at sea, but also to recognise that as an industry we are all taking responsibility for container weights on shore for safety on our roads.
What are the methods to adhere to these new legislations?
Method 1—Concluding the packing and sealing of a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged that a third party (Secon) weigh the packed container.
Method 2 – The shipper or a third party (Secon) may weigh all packages and cargo items individually including the mass of pallets, dunnage, other packaging and securing material to be packed into the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the containers contents.