At Peters & May, we make sure that our team keep on top of the latest shipping regulations so that you don’t have to. Recently the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced changes to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), so we asked our Customs Manager Simon Beck for the low down.
What is it?
The International Convention for SOLAS is an international maritime treaty which requires signatory flag states to ensure that ships flagged by them comply with minimum safety standards in construction, equipment and operation.
The IMO has amended SOLAS to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight.
This requirement will become legally effective on July 1 2016.
What does that mean for me?
It will be necessary to provide the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a packed container to the shipping line and/or port terminal authorities within a prescribed cut-off date / time before loading on board a vessel.
The VGM must be declared by the shipper or his authorised representative.
If no VGM is provided the container cannot be loaded on board the vessel.
NO VGM = NO LOAD
The regulation stipulates the use of two approved methods to declare the VGM for each container:
Method 1 -> Declare real weight of the container including tare when cargo is packed.
Method 2 -> Addition of the whole cargo including packing and the tare weight of the container.
Do I need to do anything?
At Peters & May, we are committed to providing the best service for our customers and are implementing procedures to ensure that there will be no delays to your containerised shipments.