Effective July 1st 2016 weight of containers needs to be verified

Shipping containers is a pretty safe business - especially with KC Group Shipping. However, in recent years, the industry has seen some major incidents at sea and on shore arising from laden containers with mis declared or incorrectly declared weights.

What will change as of July 1st 2016?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (Chapter VI, part A, regulation 2), that requires packed containers' gross mass to be verified prior to stowage aboard ship. As from July 1st 2016 this regulation, effective as global law, prohibits loading of a packed container in absence of the verified gross mass (VGM). This applies to all packed containers which are to be loaded to a vessel under SOLAS regime in international maritime traffic.

Does this legislation help me?

All parties involved within the supply chain will benefit from the new ruling:

  • Shippers: Declaring accurate information substantially reduces the risks of damages to valued cargo and consignments.
  • Carriers: Most importantly, accurate manifests provide a safe working environment for crew and vessel alike.
    Other benefits included improved efficiency resulting in reduced re-stows and avoidance of last minute cancellations and restacks.
  • Terminals: Similar to carriers benefits, terminal operators will benefit from enhanced safe working environment for all employees.

Maximising pre-stow capabilities, improved dispatch and minimised last minute changes will benefit terminal operations.

In principal our industry will face reduced delays and more importantly an overall safer working environment. This regulation will significantly increase safety and transport quality for all parties involved within the supply chain network each playing a vital role in global distribution of your product.

What action do you need to take EFFECTIVE JULY 1ST 2016?

The VGM details need to be provided to the carrier sufficiently in advance of vessel loading. The responsibility for obtaining and providing the verified gross mass lies with the shipper.

How to determine the VGM?

The SOLAS regulations prescribes two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container.

1. The shipper may weigh the packed and sealed container using calibrated and certified equipment.
2. The shipper may add the weight of each package stuffed in the container, add the packing and securing material and add the tare weight of the utilized container. The method itself needs to be certified and approved by a national regulatory body.

Providing an estimation of weight or general weight indication is not permitted.

The weight provided by the shipper will be submitted to the respective carrier by KC Group Shipping, thereafter the carrier, will take care for proper processing of data along the transport chain.

How can you submit the VGM?

KC Group Shipping participates in EDI standardization initiatives to offer enhanced versions for electronic transmission. Furthermore we will offer various means of communication to provide the VGM information easily. It is highly recommended to use electronic interchange channels to submit the VGM.

What happens if your VGM is not submitted?

A laden container, for which the verified gross mass has not been correctly obtained will receive no authorisation to be loaded on the vessel. Loading of a laden container without VGM to a vessel is an offence against an existing SOLAS regulation.

Where to get further information?

Information on the legislation can be found on: www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/cargo-weight


every ton counts big



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