Customer Advisory- Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) & Verified Gross Mass (VGM)- 1st April 2016



Customer Advisory | 1st April 2016

Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Regulations & Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification

Effective 1st July 2016, an amendment covering Export Container Weight regulations will be implemented by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) under the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

What is this new regulation?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification which will be applicable to all Export Containers including FCL or FAK Containers on a global basis.

How is VGM calculated?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) represents weight of goods, packaging, stowage materials & container weight, sum of all combined will be correct Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification.

Why has IMO via SOLAS Convention introduced VGM?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification have been introduced by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in order to increase marine safety and reduced dangers of accidents occurring due to container weight issues, therefore protecting vessels and human beings operating or working on vessels.

Who is responsible for VGM Certification on Export Containers?

All parties or entities listed as ‘Shipper’ on Carriers Bill Of Lading is responsible for timely and correct submission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification.

Acceptable methods to ensure accurate VGM Certification on Export Containers?

FCL- by weighing the loaded container on calibrated and certified scales or weighbridge and then subtracting weight of truck, chassis and fuel to get weight of packed container only.

LCL- by weighing each individual shipment including packaging and stowage material jointly on calibrated and certified scales which are then loaded into container, add the sum of all individual shipments plus the weight of the empty container.


Timelines and process required for VGM Certification?

Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certifications must be completed and submitted to Carriers and Terminals prior to vessel cut offs.

Industry has indicated EDI links with INTRA for reporting of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certifications and must including following mandatory information:

  • Booking Number
  • Container Number
  • Verified Gross Mass (VGM)
  • Unit Of Measurement
  • Responsible Party (Shipping to be named on Carriers Bill Of Lading)
  • Authorised Person

Consequences for not submitting timely VGM or incorrect VGM?

Carriers have announced NO VGM Certification equals NO LOAD meaning shipment delays which are then likely to result in additional costs such as document amendment fees, repacking charges and even container demurrage fees.

Incorrect VGM Certifications are likely to be treated in a more serious manner resulting in financial penalties, sanctions and future shipment profiling by Carriers.

This includes incorrect VGM Certification on both overweight and underweight measurement.

In particular various industry parties still don’t have answers on accessibility to weighbridges, costs associated, reporting and receipting of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certifications by Shippers, we shall be sure to update further news or communication on this issue post SOLAS Forum.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation to ensure smooth implementation of SOLAS Regulations and namely Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certifications effective 1st July 2016.

Please see the attached Verified Gross Mass Industry FAQS


Verified-Gross-Mass-Industry-FAQS.pdf Verified-Gross-Mass-Industry-FAQS.pdf (2MB)