Globe Express Services (GES) wishes to inform our customers that the container weight verification global requirement as outlined by the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) will begin being enforced on July 1, 2016. As shippers, you will be responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight and run the risk of missing an intended sailing if Verified Gross Mass (VGM) documentation compliance is ignored.
Globe Express Services (GES) teams globally are closely cooperating with our carrier partners in order to have standards and processes in place. If you have any questions regarding the upcoming SOLAS container weight verification requirement, please contact your local Globe Express Services representative.
Major incidents and accidents resulting from overweight containers have prompted the international shipping community to take action in order to prevent incorrect weight declarations. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in collaboration with industry representatives has therefore adopted specific rules as part of the SOLAS Convention. The purpose of the VGM requirement is to obtain an accurate gross weight of packed containers so that vessel and terminal operators can prepare vessel stowage plans prior to loading cargo on ships. The requirement will protect vessel and terminal operators’ people and assets, as well as shippers’ cargo.
Administration on National Level:
SOLAS is part of the IMO (International Maritime Organization, a United Nations Agency). All states (countries) which are members of the IMO have to adopt these VGM rules either in their original form or with additional requirements in accordance with local/national laws or rules.
Enforcement and “policing” of the VGM rules remain with the local state (government) authorities, responsible for maritime affairs. A list of these authorities along with their guidelines can be found at http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/global-container-weight-verification-rule-effective-july-1-2016.
– The Actual Shipper is responsible for providing the VGM to Globe Express Services (GES) at a minimum of 3 – 4 days prior to vessel loading.
– The VGM consists of cargo weight including packaging and dunnage (securing) materials and tare weight of container.
– Globe Express Services (GES) is responsible for relaying the VGM to carrier. The ocean line/carrier is responsible for relaying the VGM to the terminal.
– VGM is required for all equipment ranging from: standard containers, tank containers, flat racks, open tops and bulk containers.
– The Data to be provided to the carrier consists of the VGM and the shipper’s (Individual’s) authorized signature (can be electronic). Local/national Laws/Rules might require additional data, processes or documents (e.g. weighing note).
– The Scale used for weighing has to be calibrated/certified in accordance with local/national Rules.
– There are two Methodologies for calculating the VGM:
* Weigh the packed/laden container
* Weigh all packages, packaging and add the tare weight of the container
– Globe Express Services (GES) will be offering weight services to our clients as needed for a fee. Please see your local Globe Express Services (GES) representative.
– Failure to report the VGM on time will result in terminals / carriers to NOT LOAD containers and may result in penalties that will be passed on to the Actual Shipper by Globe Express Services (GES).