From July 1 2016 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will enforce the amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS/VGM) Convention that require a packed container’s gross mass to be verified prior to stowage aboard a ship.
From this date, the new regulations, effective as global law, prohibits loading of a packed container in absence of the verified gross mass (VGM) declaration.
This applies to all packed containers which are to be loaded onto a vessel under the SOLAS convention in international maritime traffic.
It is the primary responsibility of shippers to ensure that the gross mass of containers is verified, but other suppliers and importers have a role to play to ensure they are not severely impacted by non-compliance.
A packed container, for which the verified gross mass has not been obtained will not be loaded on the vessel. Loading of a packed container without VGM on to a vessel is an offence against an existing SOLAS regulation.