Cosco Shipping Lines Italy News

Customer Information and Q&A for SOLAS VGM

Published: 2016-03-25 09:14:19

IMO Requirement on Verified Container Weight before Loading

Effective July 2016

Dear Valued Customer,

As from July 1, 2016, the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation will become effective; therefore the packed containers’ Verified Gross Mass (VGM) will be mandatory for all the units to be loaded onboard our vessels.

Requirement on new SOLAS:

The packed container will not be loaded on vessel, if the VGM has not been obtained in time,

The purpose of new SOLAS:

In order to avoid risks to human life and damages to the cargo and concerned environment such as Vessels, Terminals, Equipment etc. due to inaccurately declared weights.

Either of below two permissible methods can be used by shipper or a third party duly appointed by shipper:

Method 1: Weighing the container after it has been packed and sealed, using calibrated and certified equipment weighting.

Method 2: Weighing all the 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 certificated method approved by the competent authority of the State in which packing of the container was completed.

We will support to you below:

  • Further information of SOLAS and the concerned Q&A will be updated on www.coscon.com
  • The cut-off time, ways and content of providing VGM will be published later.
  • Have various sources for the shippers to submit the VGM conveniently.

Once again, we would like to invite you to become familiar with the regulation and to make the preparation as early as possible.

For further information, please refer to the SOLAS official guidelines Chapter VI and the Maritime Safety Committee Implementation Guidelines.

SOLAS - CHAPTER VI.pdf
IMO-VGM.pdf

Q&A

Q1: What is the request of the new SOLAS ?

A: SOLAS requires that shipper showing in the bill of loading is responsible for ensuring that the verified gross mass in communicated in the shipping documents sufficiently in advance to be used by the ship’s master or his representative and the terminal representative in the preparation of the ship stowage plan. In the absence of the shipper providing the verified gross mass of the packed container, the container should not be loaded on to the ship.

Q2: When is the execution time of the new SOLAS ?

A: On Nov 21, 2014 the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee announced that the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) will become effective from July 1, 2016.

Q3: Who is responsible to submit the VGM in the new SOLAS regulation?

A: The shipper showing in the bill of loading or the entity authorized by the shipper is responsible to provide the VGM.

Q4: How to obtain the VGM ?

A: 1. Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment

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 competent authority of the State in which packing of the container was completed

Q5: Will there be a template to submit VGM?

A: Unfortunately not. VGM has to be submitted according to above method (Q4)with the signature of shipper or the person duly authorized by shipper.

Q6: What is the penalty for not complying with the new regulation?

A: Please strictly comply with the new regulation, otherwise all the extra cost, risk and consequence will be taken by shipper. .

Q7: When will Our Company issue a global customer advisory on VGM?

A: The first Version is issued on Mar 23, 2016.

Q8: When is the cut-off time for submitting VGM to our company?

A: That will depend on the requirement of each terminal; our company will issue the cut-off time through website and marked on booking confirmation, etc.

Q9: Will our company provide the relevant template and transmission channel for submitting VGM?

A: Still in discussion. More detail please pay attention to our website.

Q10: Will our company offer a weighing service?

A: Unfortunately not. Currently our company does not have such weighing service.

Q11: Would the terminal accept container gate-in without VGM ?

A: Since not all of terminal provides weighing service, please follow the local terminal requirement.

Q12: Is VGM mandatory when bill of loading already has GROSS WEIGHT?

A: Yes. The GROSS WEIGHT is for trade business, but VGM is the requirement of SOLAS.

Q13: Does shipper have to submit VGM with documentation?

A: Shipper can provide VGM with document or submit separately.

Q14: Will the VGM amendment be acceptable by our company?

A: Acceptable. The original date can be updated but all the risks and consequence should be taken by shipper.

Q15: How to find the container tare weight?

A: All the tare weight can be found on the container.