As of July 1,2016, the new SOLAS regulation will come into effect. All laden export containers will be required to have a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declared by the shipper.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will globally enforce the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention requirements regarding Shippers to provide VGM for every packed container as a condition for vessel loading.

The shipper (named on the carrier’s bill of lading) may use one of the two methods to determine the verified weight of the packed shipping container:

Method No. 1:

  • The shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh the packed/sealed container.

Method No. 2:

  • The shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh 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 (Estimating the weight is not permitted).

Under either Method 1 or Method 2, the weighing equipment used must meet the accuracy standards of the country where the equipment is used. Also under either method, the declaration of the verified weight must be signed and dated by the shipper or by its duly authorized representative and to provide to the carrier via either electronic interchange channels or a physical shipping document, i.e. :

-Preferably VGM report online at www.shipmentLink.com

-Existing EDI channels for Booking request, Shipping Instruction

-New EDIFACT VERMAS electronic message set/ type

-Mobile APP

-via Fax or E-mail

For main implementation guidelines of the SOLAS amendment regarding the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a shipping container carrying cargo, please refer to the document jointly published by the World shipping Council, TT Club, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) and the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) :

(http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/faqs/SOLAS_VGM__Industry_FAQs_Dec_2015_US_letter_WEB.pdf)

Additional information on the legislation can be found at:

http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/cargo-weight