In order to address safety problems at sea and on shore from container shipments that have incorrect weight
declaration, International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to the Safety of Life at SEA
(SOLAS) Convention as global law, Chapter VI Regulation 2 – Cargo information regarding mandatory
Verified Gross Mass of container, together with associated guideline published as MSC.1/Circ. 1475 (IMO
With effective from 1st July 2016, IMO will enter into force of SOLAS requirement on the shipper of a packed
container to verify and provide the container gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal
representative prior to it being loaded onto a ship. “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.”
Responsibility for obtaining and documenting the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a packed container lies with
the shipper. There are 2 major methods prescribed by SOLAS regulations.
Method No. 1:
Shipper may weigh the packed container by using calibrated and certified equipment. The scale, weighbridge,
lifting equipment or other devices used to verify the gross mass of the container must meet the applicable
accuracy standards and requirements of the State in which the equipment is being used, per IMO Guidelines.
Method No. 2:
Shipper may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing
and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the
single masses of the container’s content. Weighing equipment must meet the applicable accuracy standards
and requirements of the State in which the equipment is being used, per IMO Guidelines.
We will keep you informed when more update is available.
For more detailed information, please visit below source material:
Guidelines for Improving Safety and Implementing the SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirements