The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has modified SOLAS – Safety of Life at Sea, to ensure the safety of the ship, its workers and cargo – and has established that a container has a verified gross mass before being stowed on board the ship. The shipper is responsible for verifying the gross mass of the container and must also ensure that the verified gross mass is inserted into the shipping documents sufficiently in advance for use by the ship’s master or terminal representative in the preparation of the ship’s stowage plan.
In the absence of such communication, the container shall not be taken on board the ship.
This requirement will have legal effect from 1 July 2016.
The purpose of the resolution is the “VGM Verify Gross Mass” i.e. the weight of the cargo including the tare weight of the container carrying it (container means any type of equipment).
After loading and sealing the container, the sender/exporter weighs it or has it weighed by a third party with standard precision instruments and provides the shipping company with proof of such weighing.
The sender/exporter must send a formal declaration to the Maritime Carrier, with the total weight of the goods (complete with packaging, pallets and anchoring material) to which he adds the tare weight of the container, as shown in the weight panel of the container itself.
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