There is new amendment covering Export Container Weight regulations, which will be implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention starting July 1st 2016.
The industry is still finalizing the finer details of the process around these new regulations. We anticipate the implementation of new software and documentation procedures to help streamline the process.
What is this new regulation?
Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification which will be applicable to all Export Containers including FCL or FAK Containers on a global basis.
How is VGM calculated?
Verified Gross Mass (VGM) represents the weight of goods, packaging, stowage materials & container weight, sum of all combined will be the recorded Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for Certification.
There will also be additional charges to cover the new VGM regulations, these fees are being slowly advised to us by our shipping lines and LCL co-loaders as the requirements become clearer.
What will it cost?
Any shipments within a consolidation will be charged $25 per shipment. All FCL shipments will be charged a flat rate of $100 for the certification.
Why has IMO via SOLAS Convention introduced VGM?
Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification has been introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in order to increase marine safety and reduce the dangers of accidents occurring due to inaccurate container weight issues. This will increase safety around loading and unloading of containers, and protect vessels and human beings operating or working on vessels.
Who is responsible for VGM Certification on Export Containers?
All parties or entities listed as ‘Shipper’ on Carrier’s Bill Of Lading is responsible for timely and correct submission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification.
Acceptable methods to ensure accurate VGM Certification on Export Containers?
FCL- by weighing the loaded container on calibrated and certified scales or weighbridge and then subtracting weight of truck, chassis and fuel to get weight of packed container only.
LCL- by weighing each individual shipment including packaging and stowage material jointly on calibrated and certified scales which are then loaded into container, add the sum of all individual shipments plus the weight of the empty container.
In a nutshell, these new regulations are basically putting the onus back on the shipper’s to provide carriers with an exact / accurate weight of the cargo they are offering for shipping.
We CANNOT export LCL or FCL freight until we provide the carrier and the appropriate port with the VGM of each shipment…meaning this info must be supplied to the carrier before we deliver the goods into port.
If you do not have up to date equipment to weigh your goods (must be calibrated & certified scales to US standards), then we can provide you with this service via a few different methods:
- For LCL cargo we can weigh the goods once received into the export depot – cost for this service is still being discussed by the carriers
- For FCL cargo we can arrange for the loaded containers to be collected and taken via a weighbridge, where a VGM will be provided to us by the transport company – cost for this service is still being discussed by the carriers
For further information you can ask your salesperson about this new legislation but it’s a simple measure being taken to make sure of the accuracy of weight of all cargo laden on board a vessel to ensure safety and accountability.