23 Jun 2017

Mandatory weighing of containerised cargo: the new rules

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Failure to provide the accurate weight of containers which are to be carried on board a ship is a well-known maritime safety issue. The IMO has introduced new measures to address the problem.

With effect from 1 July 2016:

  • the shipper of containerised goods must verify its gross mass by one of two specified means;
  • the shipper must submit to both the carrier and the terminal a shipping document, signed by a person authorised by the shipper, which states the verified gross mass ("VGM") of the container;
  • if the shipper has not provided the VGM to the master and the terminal (and they have not obtained the VGM by other means), the container must not be loaded onto the ship.

This briefing note provides an outline of the operation of the new rules.

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