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FTA consultancy helps shippers manage new container weight rules

FTA consultancy helps shippers manage new container weight rules

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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched a new consultancy service to help shippers plan for container weight verification rules that come into force on 1 July.

Rules adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will require every packed export container to have its weight verified before being loaded onto a ship. The new regulations are designed to improve safety at sea because wrongly declared weights have contributed to a number of maritime incidents.

It is the shipper’s responsibility to declare the gross mass of a loaded container (Verified Gross Mass or VGM) – but even the identity of the shipper itself can be difficult to ascertain in lengthy and complex logistics chains.

Shippers must make a formal declaration by paper or electronically confirming the VGM of the loaded container to the carrier.

There are two methods for verifying the weight:

Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment
A calculated weight method which involves summing the individual items separately and adding the tare weight of the container and packing materials using an approved process

Firms opting for Method 2 can seek accreditation to the Marine and Coastguard Agency. If successful, they will be able to produce VGMs at lower cost than having to weigh each container. However, this will not be appropriate for all shippers.

The aim of the FTA consultancy service is to assist members in selecting the most appropriate method of complying with the VGM rules, and to help support those who wish to apply for Method 2 accreditation.

The service will help shippers prepare the necessary extensive evidence for the Method 2 application, Payments will not be refunded for applications that aren’t granted.

Alex Veitch, FTA’s Head of Global Policy, said: “The IMO rules are very clear – shippers who don’t comply won’t have their cargoes loaded, it’s as simple as that. FTA’s new consultancy can help them decide which method to use to produce verified gross mass information, and to support shippers who are making applications for accreditation to the MCA under Method 2.”

For more information, please call 03717 11 22 22.

For guidance on how to identify shippers please see GSF Guide ‘Who is the Shipper’      http://www.globalshippersforum.com

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