Verified Gross Mass (VGM)
Further to previous broadcasts on container weight and (CoR) Chain of Responsibility, IMO (International Maritime Organization) has recently passed an amendment to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) requiring verification of container weights.
The new regulation was adopted to increase maritime safety and reduce the dangers to cargo, containers, and all those involved in container transport throughout the supply chain.
Starting from 1st July 2016, a packed container will no longer be allowed to be loaded on board vessels unless its Verified Gross Mass (VGM) has been provided by the shipper named in the Bill of Lading, to the ocean carrier and/or the terminal representative.
The Verified Gross Mass (VGM) is the weight of the cargo including dunnage and bracing plus the tare weight of the container carrying this cargo. SOLAS requires the shipper to provide VGM in a “shipping document”, either as part of the shipping instruction or in a separate communication, before vessel loading.
With the new regulation:
- The shipper will be the responsible party for providing the VGM
- There will be two permissible weighing methods for determining the VGM
- The terminal operator will be obliged to ensure that only containers with a VGM are loaded on the vessel
In Australia, the enforcement of the SOLAS requirements is governed by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) who is currently finalising the draft Order to reflect the SOLAS amendments.
We will keep you posted on further developments.
BRi Customs Department
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