VGM of SOLAS has already arrived
Last Friday, July 1st, took effect the new regulations of SOLAS about the VGM.
These regulations require the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of all the containers in a port. All the countries who signed the SOLAS convention must comply these rules, which were approved two years ago, in November 2014. The shipper whose name appears on the Bill of Lading will be responsible to provide the VGM to the carrier. Without the VGM notification, the container cannot be loaded to the vessel.
There are two differents ways to get the Verified Gross Mass:
- The container is weighed after the cargo has been loaded in it. Then, this information must be transmitted to the carrier.
- All the elements which are going to be loaded in the container must be weighed individually and adding to the container tare weight detailed on the door of the container.
The information can be transmitted to the carrier by different ways as well:
- In the shipping instructions and/or in the booking.
- By “manual transmission” of the VGM, signed by an authorized person.
- By electronical procedures developed by “port communities”.
About the moment to provide the information, there is no deadline stipulated. The only indication is that it has been made with a reasonable anticipation in order to everybody can do their job in the right way.
The new regulations do not say anything about if discrepancies are admitted or not, or if there is any error range. Either nothing about if there is any penalization if these discrepancies appear.
In Spain, the main ports have communicated that they are ready for the new regulations. However, because of the lack of standardization and information about the gross mass verification, it seems that there will be a lot of delays in the shipments and congestion in the ports.