SOLAS to introduce Verified Gross Mass.

Following concerns raised by the shipping industry regarding the mis-declaration of cargo weights, SOLAS (Safety Of Lives At Sea) has introduced Verified Gross Mass (VGM) which comes into force for sailings from 1st July 2016.
It is estimated that 20% of all containers are mis-declared. During investigations a vessel leaving Rotterdam was found to be 6,000 ton over the declared weight, putting enormous strain on the vessel’s lashing, tackle systems and safety. These discrepancies might help explain or at least contribute to an estimated 10,000 containers being lost overboard each year. Recent studies of 125,000 containers were analysed and it appeared that 5% were dangerously overweight and some recorded up to 80 tonnes.
Therefore, all containers for loading aboard vessels must have an actual VGM declared by the Shipper.

For Import shipments into the UK it is the responsibility of the manufacturer/shipper to confirm the VGM prior to shipment at origin. This will then be recorded and needs to match the actual weight of the container when this loads on the vessel. As such you will need to make your suppliers aware they will have to comply with the SOLAS VGM procedure for any shipments from the 1.07.16 to avoid them being left off vessels, delaying arrival to the UK and incurring potential extra costs.

For EXW/FCA shipments to the UK we may need to arrange the VGM at origin on your behalf to comply with the new regulation. In cases where the Consignor(s) is/are unable or unwilling (or is impracticable for them) to cover the costs, it may lead to potential modest charges being incurred for the VGM and we will advise if this is the case prior to proceeding with any shipments on your behalf.

For Export shipments from the UK you will need to have the full Verified Gross Mass for the shipment at time of loading and we can arrange to declare this on your behalf 24 hours before the vessel is expected to load.
Currently most UK port terminals are weighing all export containers to make sure that the system is being adhered to and should there be any differences with the declared and actual weight value of the shipment there could be additional charges to pay.

See the below Link to the International Maritime Organisations site with further details on the new procedure:-

Should you have any questions on this subject then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Many thanks