SOLAS - Container Weight Verification
Changes to SOLAS - What you need to know?
As of July 1st 2016, changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention will take effect. Container weight verification will become mandatory and will be the responsibility of the shipper (or party packing on behalf of the shipper), meaning that all packed containers must be accurately weighed and have a Verified Gross Mass (VGM).
Estimating weight will not be permitted.
How do I meet the new rquirements?
There are two methods available to calculate the VGM.
- The packed container may be weighed electronically (i.e weighbridge)
- The sum of all cargoes being packed into the container must be weighed prior to being packed and the total weight added to the tare weight of the container. This must include any dunnage / packaging.
What documentation do I need?
If your container is being packed at a BTi facility, option 2 will be utilised and a VGM document, created by BTi, will be signed by the ‘packer’ and sent with the container.
Should your container be packed elsewhere, you must ensure that signed documentation is provided with the correct weight details of the container and its cargo. BTi can provide a blank VGM form if required.
This documentation will be required prior to shipment.
Does this apply to me?
Yes. These changes will apply world wide with no exceptions.
What will happen if I do not declare the correct weight?
Although the exact ramifications are currently unknown, it is highly likely that your container will not board its vessel in the event of no documentation or false documentation.
For further information on the changes to SOLAS, you can access the official release by clicking here
A member of our export department will be happy to assist should you have any questions.