We have received the following notification with regards to the new container weight verification program which will come in to effect as of 1st July 2016. It is vital that our customer understand the need for accurate weights of consignments tendered to use for shipment by sea freight. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give one of the team a call.


The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement


 The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight. The Shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight. This requirement will become legally effective on July 1, 2016. After that date, it would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a vessel if the vessel operator and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container weight.

  • The Shipper (listed as shipper in the bill of lading or sea waybill) is responsible for providing the VGM (verified Gross Mass) to the carrier in reasonable time prior to the vessel loading

  • The VGM consists of cargo weight including packaging and dunnage (securing) materials and tare weight of container.

  • The Carrier is responsible for relaying the VGM to its terminal.

  • For Groupage/Consolidation containers the consolidator is the ‘shipper’ in the eyes of the carrier and, therefore, responsible for providing the VGM to the carrier, although the manufacturer/shipper of forwarding agent has a duty of care to provide accurate cargo weights to the consolidator.

  • There are two Methods for calculating the VGM:

    • Weigh the packed/laden container  (Method one)

    • Weigh all packages, packaging and dunnage material and add the tare weight of the container (Method two)

    • In order to comply with method one the shipper has to  arrange for the container/trailer/unit to be weighed empty and then laden at an approved weighbridge facility.

    • In order to comply with method two shippers/manufacturers or their forwarder has to apply to the MCS (Marine Coastguard Agency for approval and will, of course, need suitable weighting equipment which has been calibrated to do so.


  • Carriers WILL NOT LOAD containers without having a VGM.


Posted by