IMO Ends ‘Light Touch’ on Container Weight Verification

Containers are seen unloaded from the Maersk's Triple-E giant container ship Maersk Majestic, one of the world's largest container ships, at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2016. Picture taken September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
File photo: REUTERS/Aly Song

By Mike Wackett

(The Loadstar) – Tomorrow the IMO’s three-month so-called “light touch” enforcement of the SOLAS revision that all packed containers must have a certified VGM (verified gross mass) before loading on board a ship comes to an end.

Industry fears of supply chain chaos on 1 July, when the new VGM regulations came into force, were largely overcome; by education and a pragmatic approach by all stakeholders.

Indeed, according to data from the World Shipping Council, the VGM compliance reported by its member container lines is as high as 95%.

Nevertheless, with the ending of the grace period, the TT Club, which did a sterling job on the education front line pre-VGM, is adding a note of caution.

It said “much still needs to be done to achieve accurate VGM certification and universal enforcement of the rules”.

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