New Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) weight regulation

Collyer Logistics would like to inform you that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regarding weight verification requirements.

Shippers will be responsible with effect from 1 July 2016 to provide a verified gross mass (VGM) of laden containers to the ocean carrier in advance of vessel loading.

The purpose of the VGM requirement is to obtain an accurate weight of laden containers.Benefits will be greater level of safety for terminal operators, ship, crew and cargo.

The responsibility of obtaining and transmitting the verified gross mass (VGM) lies with the shipper - whereby the shipper is the shipper listed in the carrier’s bill of lading.

The shipper will be liable for loss, damage or expenses resulting from violation against the SOLAS weight verification requirements.

SOLAS allows the shipper two methods to ascertain the verified gross mass (VGM).

Method 1: The shipper weights the loaded container by using certified and calibrated scales.

Method 2: The shipper weighs all cargo items, dunnage and packaging material and adds the tare weight of the container.

Shippers are advised to familiarize themselves with national requirements.

An overview of national requirements can be found under

The verified gross mass (VGM) can be reported to the carrier in different ways.

It may be done in written, as part of the shipping instructions, or by means of Electronic Data Interchange.

Required data elements that customers need to provide are:

- Verified gross mass (VGM).

- Signature of person authorized by the shipper and company details.

- Additional information and/ or documents, if any required by state (government) authorities.

The shipper is obliged to send the verified gross mass (VGM) to the carrier prior to a defined VGM cut off time. VGM cut off times will vary from port to port.

If no verified gross mass (VGM) is transmitted by the shipper in time, the container will be prohibited from being loaded onto the vessel. The shipper will be liable for any costs incurred due to a missing VGM.

For further information please contact your local Collyer Logistics representative.