VGM certificate comes into force

container shipperToday, on July 1, comes into force the new amendment to the SOLAS Convention for actual weight of the loaded container (VGM certificate). According to the amendment the actual weight of the loaded container must be submitted to the carrier in advance to plan the placement of containers on deck and improving of vessel’s stability. The responsibility for meeting these requirements lies equally on the carriers and terminal operators. VGM must be obtained either by weighing the loaded container (method 1) or by summing the load weight and the tare weight (method 2).

A significant number of container terminals have announced that they are ready to provide service for the weighing of containers and transfer VGM certificate to shipping lines under the method 1. For the calculation of the weight of the container in accordance with the method 2 shipping lines publish on their websites the weight of the containers.

Providers of information solutions such as INTTRA, CargoSmart and GT Nexus, developed Internet applications for VGM transmission lines and terminals.

On the other hand, the governments of most countries are not in a hurry to formalize procedures to ensure compliance with the new IMO requirements. According to the insurance company TT Club about 80% of signatories of SOLAS Convention, has not yet published the requirements that must ensure the implementation of the amendments at the state level.

Shippers are worried that unavailability for measurement of container weight can cause large-scale disruption in the terminals. In view of this concern, IMO recommended that port authorities and national regulatory authorities in the ports must take a pragmatic approach in monitoring compliance with the new requirements during the first three months. In accordance with this recommendation, India announced a temporary simplification of procedures in order to give market participants more time to adapt to the new rules.