SOLAS Verified Gross Mass Regulation

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has made important amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention (SOLAS Chapter VI). Effective from July 1st 2016, SOLAS requires mandatory verification of the gross weight of container / containers prior to stowage aboard the vessel. This new regulation prohibits the loading of a packed container / containers on board a vessel unless the verified gross mass (VGM) information has been declared in advance to the ocean carrier. These new requirements have been implemented by the IMO, and the consequences of a mis-declaration of the weight could have an adverse impact on the safety of the ship, crew and shore-side equipment and workforce.

Pursuant to the regulation, the VGM information has to be provided by the Shipper named on Bill of Lading. As from 1st July 2016, it is vital to ensure that the VGM information is processed in an accurate and timely manner, and is submitted to the relevant parties involved in the handling of the containers (e.g. Carriers, Marine Terminals, Vessel Operators). Claridon will assist you in this process by submitting the information to the carriers in a timely manner and monitoring the processing of the VGM in order to avoid any delays.

At the time of Booking Confirmation, your local Claridon Office will advise you when VGM information has to be submitted to Claridon. In order to facilitate the submission of the VGM information, Claridon has created 2 templates - one for FCL (Full Container Load) and one for LCL (Less than Container Load) cargo. The templates will capture all relevant information. Once completed, the templates can be sent to your local Claridon Office via email or fax.

The VGM (Verified Gross Mass) can be determined as follows:

1

Method 1:

By weighing the stuffed container using calibrated and certified equipment approved by the designated authority of the country in which packing of the container was completed.

2

Method 2:

By weighing all packages, pallets, dunnage, securing material, etc. that have been packed into the container and by adding the tare weight of the container to the sum of the single weights, using a certified method approved by the assigned authority of the country in which packing of the container was completed.

The regulation does not permit any type of estimation. The designated authorities have been listed as part of the information available on the World Shipping Council website. As the enforcement of the SOLAS requirements falls within the competence of different designated authorities in each country, the rules might be implemented differently in each country. Your local Claridon office can provide you with further information on local requirements in order to be compliant with SOLAS/VGM. Further information can also be found under the link:

http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/global-container-weight-verification-rule-effective-july-1-2016

Containers for which the VGM information has not been submitted, or has been submitted late or with incorrect data, will not be loaded on board the scheduled vessel. All costs that will be incurred as a result of late/inaccurate submission will be for the account of the shipper.

Additional information on the IMO / SOLAS requirement can be found on http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/cargo-weight

Please contact your nearest Claridon Office for further information.