International logistics specialist, Rhenus Logistics UK, is urging the freight industry to take note of new regulations for providing Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for SOLAS, which comes into effect on 1 July 2016.
In recent years, incorrectly weighted containers have been the cause of a number of major incidents and accidents with vessels. The amendments to the VGM standard have therefore been introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as part of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The new legislation requirement is designed to drive-up safety across the sector and reduce the possibility of damage to stock in transit.
The intention of the new SOLAS VGM requirement is to achieve an accurate gross weight of packed containers so that vessel and terminal operators can prepare vessel stowage plans before loading cargo on containerships.
As SOLAS forms part of the IMO, all countries which are IMO members – which includes the majority of states in the European Union – will also be obliged to comply.
Primary requirements of the new VGM regulation state:
The VGM is composed of cargo weight, including dunnage materials and tare weight of container
The shipper is in charge of providing the VGM to the carrier in reasonable time prior to vessel loading
The carrier is responsible for declaring the VGM to its terminal
David Williams, managing director of Rhenus UK, said: “The implementation of the SOLAS VGM is changeable and subject to local conditions, requirements and global infrastructural challenges. We do know, however, that it will be effective as of 1 July, so shippers should look to achieve compliance by the end of June.
“This is an important piece of legislation aiming to increase standards of safety across the logistics sector. Rhenus Logistics will be able to provide a range of VGM services for our customers, so we’d urge those looking for more information to get in touch”.