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Container Weight Declaration | Are You Ready?

Posted on 1 April 2016

Shipping Lines will require shippers to verify “gross mass” (more commonly known as weight) before a container can be processed for loading.

When does this come into effect?

July 1st 2016

Who does this effect?

Applicable to all export containers including FCL or FAK containers on a global basis.

All parties or entities listed as ‘Shipper’ on Carriers Bill Of Lading will be responsible for timely and correct submission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certification.

VGM certification will now be required, how is VGM calculated?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) represents weight of goods, packaging, stowage materials and container weight, sum of all combined will be correct Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certification.

Why has IMO via SOLAS convention introduced VGM?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certification has been introduced by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in order to increase marine safety and reduced dangers of accidents occurring due to container weight issues, therefore protecting vessels and human beings operating or working on vessels.

Acceptable methods to ensure accurate VGM certification on export containers?

FCL: by weighing the loaded container on calibrated and certified scales or weighbridge and then subtracting weight of truck, chassis and fuel to get weight of packed container only.

LCL: by weighing each individual shipment including packaging and stowage material jointly on calibrated and certified scales which are then loaded into container, add the sum of all individual shipments plus the weight of the empty container.

Timelines and process required for VGM certification?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certifications must be completed and submitted to carriers and terminals prior to vessel cut offs.

Industry has indicated EDI links with INTRA for reporting of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certifications and must including following mandatory information:

  • Booking number
  • Container number
  • Verified Gross Mass (VGM)
  • Unit of measurement
  • Responsible party (shipping to be named on Carriers Bill Of Lading)
  • Authorised person

Consequences for not submitting timely VGM or incorrect VGM?

Carriers have announced NO VGM certification equals NO LOAD resulting in shipment delays which may mean additional costs such as:

  • Document amendment fees
  • Repacking charges
  • Container demurrage fees

Incorrect VGM certifications are likely to be treated in a more serious manner resulting in financial penalties, sanctions and future shipment profiling by carriers.

This includes incorrect VGM certification on both overweight and underweight measurement.

Additional information or FAQS?

See attached document for your reference and further clarification.

In particular various industry parties still don’t have answers on accessibility to weighbridges, costs associated, reporting and receipting of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certifications by shippers, we will communicate additional information as it come to hand.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work together to ensure this smooth implementation.