Rules and Regulations

Communication of the Verified Gross Mass of packed containers to be compulsory as from July 1st, 2016

As of July 1st, 2016, the enforcement of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requirements regarding the verification of the gross mass of packed containers will be applicable.

A packed container will not be allowed to be loaded on board vessels to which the SOLAS Convention applies unless the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the container has been provided to the ship’s master or his representative and to the terminal or its representative sufficiently in advance to allow for the edition of the loading plan.

The responsibility for obtaining and documenting the Verified Gross Mass of a packed container lies with the shipper.

The Verified Gross Mass means the total gross mass of a packed container as obtained by one of the two methods described below.

Two methods are available for obtaining the VGM:

  • Method #1 – Using calibrated and certified equipment, the shipper (or a third party duly appointed by him) weighs the packed container at the end of the stuffing operation once the seal is affixed, using calibrated and certified equipment.
  • Method #2 - The shipper (or a third party, by arrangement of the shipper) weighs all packages, cargo items, pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material and adds the tare mass of the container. The total sum finally obtained is the weight to be provided. This method is subject to certification and approval by the competent authority of the State in which the packing and sealing of the container was completed.

Again, please be fully aware that according to this regulation, if the Verified Gross Mass is not provided, the container will not be loaded onto the ship.

We won’t fail to keep you informed regularly about these requirements. For further information, please do not hesitate to read the Guidelines approved by the International Maritime Organization and additional details about weighing and verification processes.