To meet the new SOLAS regulations – which are effective from 1st July 2016 – we will require the following information from full container load shippers, so that we can provide the Container Verified Gross Mass (VGM) to vessel and terminal operators.
The shipper – as shown in the bill of lading – is responsible for VGM declaration and while they may elect to nominate a 3rd party to provide the VGM on their behalf, they remain responsible for its accuracy.
While it will be possible to enter most port terminals without a valid VGM, the vessel will ONLY accept containers with a declared VGM for loading on board.
Failure to provide a VGM in good time will inevitably delay shipments and incur rent and/or other charges.
The required data elements that we will need include:
- Your details
- Container number
- Name of authorised signatory
- Verified Gross Mass (VGM) per container
- Method of weighing (one of the two recognised methods)
- Additional information and/or documents
Deadlines for VGM declaration are still uncertain, but given that the carrier must have the information far enough in advance to complete the vessel stow plan, we believe that the VGM will be required 24 hrs prior to cutoff.
Given the definite dangers of late VGM declaration, we will be encouraging all shippers to provide them 72 hours before lading.
We will confirm VGM receipt and the data elements detailed above.
Whenever possible we will monitor the VGM status and alert you to ensure timely submission of the VGM, so that your container can be loaded to the booked vessel.
The SOLAS changes apply to 162 countries, which means that your FCL imports will also require a VGM before they will be accepted by the shipping line.
Your vendor will be the ‘Shipper’ and responsible for obtaining the VGM by weighing the goods and container – using one of the two approved methods.
We would encourage you to start contacting your vendors to clarify how they are planning to comply with the SOLAS changes.
We would recommend that you familiarise yourself with the new SOLAS regulations, or speak with your account manager to find out how we can support you.
We will be refining our planning continuously in the run-up to the 1st July launch.