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Customer Advisory

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirements

Effective July 1, 2016

March 28, 2016

Dear Valued Customer,

The International Maritime Organization, (IMO), Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention amendment, regarding the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a packed container comes into force, July 1, 2016. As of this date, Westwood will be prohibited from loading any container onboard our vessels unless we have received the VGM from the shipper.

Operating safely is among Westwood’s core values and top priorities, as is full compliance with all international and local regulations.

Under the SOLAS VGM requirements, it is the shipper’s responsibility to obtain and transmit the required VGM data for a packed container to the ocean carrier. Estimated weights are not permitted. Once the shipper has provided the required VGM details to Westwood Shipping Lines by the VGM cutoff, their responsibility is completed.

It is then Westwood’s responsibility to report the VGM to the Ocean Terminal in time for vessel load planning.

Westwood will establish cutoff times for VGM data to be submitted. These times will be communicated on the booking confirmation. Cutoff rules and times may vary by port, depending on the Marine Terminal Operator rules.

If cargo does not load the vessel due to VGM data not being submitted prior to the cutoff time, the shipper will be responsible for any costs that arise (including but not limited to weighing costs, repacking, storage, demurrage and administrative costs).

How to submit VGM Data to Westwood:

  • Initially, Westwood will accept VGM data via the following two methods:
    • VGM data added to Shipping Instructions
    • Submitted via “VGM Data Form” (to be provided)
  • WSL is looking at developments for electronic submission of VGM data, and will advise when this is available.

The following links contain helpful information:

http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/SOLAS_CHAPTER_VI_Regulation_2_Paragraphs_4-6.pdf

http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/MSC_1-Circ_1475_-_Guidelines_Regarding_The_Verified_Gross_Mass_Of_A_Container_Carrying_Cargo_-Secretariat-.pdf

http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/WSC_Summarizes_the_Basic_Elements_of_the_SOLAS_Container_Weight_Verification_Requirement___January_2015_-3-.pdf

http://ocema.org/VGM_SOLAS.html

As always, please feel free to contact your customer service team if you have any questions or questions.

Eastbound: 1-800-621-4371
Westbound: 1-800-220-9752

Westwood Shipping Lines