VGM SOLAS Container Weight Verification

Industry Update

Container Weight Verification – Effective from July1st, 2016

ICAL International wishes to inform our customers the global requirement for container weights has recently changed. As of July 1st, 2016, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires a verified gross mass (VGM) declaration as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship.

This amendment requires the Shipper shown on the Bill of Lading to ensure the VGM of a packed container is communicated sufficiently in advance to the ships master. Containers will not be loaded onto the ship without a VGM. This requirement will apply to both FCL containers and individual LCL shipments.

The purpose of the VGM requirement is to obtain correct gross weights of packed containers so vessel and terminal operators can prepare stowage plans prior to loading cargo on ships and prevent the reoccurrence of accidents caused by overweight containers. Penalties for non-compliance on VGM requirements may apply.

What Information is required?

  • Verified Gross Mass (VGM) per container (cargo weight, loading material/pallets/skids, dunnage, securing material, tare weight of container)
  • Name and Signature of the person authorized by shipper and company details
  • Additional information and/or documents, if any required by relevant government authorities.

Methods of Verification

In accordance with the SOLAS amendment, there are two approved methods to declare the VGM;

Method 1 Weigh the packed container

Method 2Weigh all packages, packaging and dunnage material and add the tare weight container