Broad industry coalition offers clarity on new container weighing regulations
The World Shipping Council (WSC), the TT Club, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) jointly released a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to address issues arising from the new container weighing regulations due to take effect globally on 1 July 2016. The amendments to the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention require packed shipping containers to have a verified gross mass (VGM) before they can be loaded on a ship for export.
The amendments were adopted by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) to enhance maritime safety and reduce the dangers to containerships, their crews, and all those involved in container transport throughout the supply chain. The FAQs have been developed by the industry coalition in response to numerous questions from shippers, carriers, forwarders, and terminal operators about the steps they must take to ensure successful implementation of the new regulations.
This initial FAQs document seeks to clarify how the SOLAS container weight verification requirements will function in various situations. It identifies commercial and operational arrangements that will have to be addressed, and it flags issues that must be dealt with by national governments. The FAQs are based on actual questions from affected stakeholders, and they will be expanded as new issues emerge. Stakeholders are invited to approach any of the collaborating organizations with additional questions that may come up. Contact details of ‘subject-matter experts’ from each of the organizations can be found at the end of the FAQs document.
Container safety is a shared responsibility, and all parties have an interest in improving the safety of ships, the safety of cargo and the reduction of the risks to the lives of ships’ crews and others throughout the containerized supply chain.
About members of the industry coalition:
The World Shipping Council (WSC) represents the global liner industry on regulatory, environmental, safety and security policy issues. The WSC has observer status at the IMO and was actively involved in the development of the SOLAS container gross mass verification requirements.
The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry’s leading provider of insurance and related risk management services. The TT Club participated throughout the IMO consultation process leading to the amendment of SOLAS and the related implementation guidelines.
The International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety, security, sustainability, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and goods movement by all modes and through all phases of national and international supply chains. ICHCA actively participated in the debates leading to these SOLAS amendments.
The Global Shippers Forum is the world’s leading global trade association representing shippers’ engaged in international trade moving goods by all modes of transport. GSF was actively involved in the debates at the IMO leading to these SOLAS amendments.
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