Effective July 1, 2016, new SOLAS Container Weight Verification Program regulations come into effect

Starting July 1, 2016, the International Maritime Organization's Maritime Safety Committee approved amendments to The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea's (SOLAS), requiring that shippers verify gross container weight prior to shipping.  DSV has established specific plans related to the VGM (Verified Gross Mass) process.  These new rules require that container weight be verified by the shipper using VGM - Method I or II.

  • Method I - The fully loaded and sealed container is weighed prior to being delivered to the terminal.
  • Method II - All cargo is weighed including packaging / dunnage material and the containers tare weight is included and verified by the shipper


DSV SOLAS VGM Certificate 

While the shipping community is still unsure what the full impact will be, DSV will take measures to keep you informed of the latest news and information as it is made available. 


What is SOLAS - Safety of Life at Sea?

International Maritime Organization (IMO) enforced amendments requiring a packed container to have shipper-verified weight as a condition for loading onto a ship for export to ensure the safety of seafarers and shore-side workers. 

When is the enforcement date?

July 1, 2016 – from this date carriers will only be allowed to load a packed container on board their ships after its VGM (Verified Gross Mass) has been received.

What does the SOLAS regulation apply to?

All packed containers to which the International Convention of Safe Containers (CSC) applies and which are to be loaded onto a ship subject to SOLAS Chapter VI.  All packed export containers will legally need VGM declaration, including all standard sea freight containers, tank containers, flat racks, and bulk containers. 

Where does SOLAS apply?

All IMO member countries are implementing the regulation’s amendments, including those related to VGM in their respective jurisdictions.  The regulation is globally legally-binding.

Will SOLAS be enforced the same everywhere?

SOLAS will be enforced within each country based on that country’s own guidelines.

Who’s responsibility is it?

It is the SHIPPER’S responsibility to provide the VGM to carriers in advance.

What is a SHIPPER?

The legal entity or person named on the bill of lading or sea waybill as shipper and /or who a contract of carriage has been concluded with a shipping company.  This means that the SHIPPER could also be the Exporter / Importer or the Logistics Service Provider.

How will this change the booking process?

Shippers will need to make sure the booking and shipment lead times factor in container weighing.   

Will this affect my cost?

In addition to any costs associated with weighing the containers and submitting the VGM data, you will need to factor in possible costs that might arise when you fail to submit your VGM in time.

What do I need to do as the SHIPPER?

Contact your local DSV representative to ensure you are in compliance and receive clarification.

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