What’s changing and when?
From 1st July 2016, amendments are being implemented to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention making shippers responsible for the gross mass of a packed seafreight container. This verified gross mass (VGM) must be declared in the shipping document.
This amendment follows the reporting by carriers to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), over a number of years, of problems associated with mis-declaration of weights in packed containers.
Will it affect me?
If you are loading FCLs (full container loads) for transporting directly to the port then the answer is ‘yes’. It doesn’t impact your LCL (less than container load) consignments because we will declare the total VGM for the packed consolidation container to the shipping line.
What do I need to do?
There are two methods by which you, the Shipper/Consignor, may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:-
Method 1: Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment (e.g. weighbridges, load cell sensing technologies etc)
Method 2: Weighing all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container and adding the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the UK competent authority, that is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) or its authorised body.
You can declare the VGM on your shipping instructions to us or send us the weight certificate produced by a weigh station. Either way, the document should clearly highlight that the gross mass provided is the “verified gross mass”.
Where can I get more information?
From the Government website by clicking here
Or by contacting the Twente Express seafreight department on: 01543 36 22 20