As has been widely reported, effective 1st July 2016, all laden export containers are required to have the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declared by the shipper. The VGM is defined as the gross mass of the cargo plus the tare weight of the container.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will globally enforce the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention requiring shippers to provide VGM for every packed container prior to loading on board the vessel.
The Shipper (as named on the carrier’s bill of lading), may use one of two methods to determine the verified weight of the packed container:
The Shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh the container after it has been packed and sealed.
The shipper may weigh or have a third party weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container and adding the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the State in which packing of the container was completed (estimating the weight is not permitted).
Under either Method 1 or Method 2, the weighing equipment used to weigh the contents of the container must meet the accuracy standards of the country where the equipment is used. Please contact SAMSA directly for a list of approved vendors for accreditation.
Irrespective of the method used, the declaration of the VGM must be signed and dated by the shipper or their duly authorized representative and provided to the carrier prior to the container being loaded on board. The relevant document will be distributed to all shippers in due course.
It will also be required that the shipper (or their duly authorized representative) will include the VGM when submitting the pre-advice via Navis.
Skyline Freight will continue to work with the appropriate industry parties and assist you in order to comply with this new International rule. We will continue to update our all customers of further developments regarding this matter.
Please do not hesitate to contact us any further assistance that may be required.
We thank you for continued support.
Skyline Freight (Pty) Ltd
(Source: Evergreen Agency – South Africa)