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AMSA to commence SOLAS compliance activity in earnest

Wondering what has been happening since the implementation of the SOLAS provisions on 1 July this year?

We understand that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has not yet conducted major SOLAS compliance activity, consistent with MSC.1./Circ 1548.

Well, all that’s about to change.

AMSA has recently advised that compliance activity would immediately escalate with a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC), looking at Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declarations and identifying indicators of falsehoods and other inaccuracies. Consistently rounded numbers is a bit of a giveaway!

We also understand that AMSA is considering its options regarding check weighing, sample weighing and upstream auditing.

The key take-out would be that any grace period AMSA has granted has come to an inevitable end.

For more information visit the AMSA website or download our guide here.

Magellan Logistics has your back on this and any other customs or freight forwarding topic.  If you would like to discuss SOLAS compliance with me further please get in touch on 1300 651 888 or via steve@maglog.com.au.

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SOLAS compliance day is today

We are now “live” for compliance in Australia.

All Australian exports submitted at wharf terminals and depots now need to be compliant.

Any non-compliance in these early days may still incur significant costs or delays.  See attached media release from AMSA or visit the website.

And remember, that whilst this is a shipper compliance issue, Magellan is here to help you work through any problems as and when they occur.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 1300 651 888 or email daniel@maglog.com.au or steve@maglog.com.au or your usual Magellan contact.

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Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) – Verified Gross Mass (VGM) shipper’s declaration – Compliance date 1st July 2016.

Effective for vessels sailing on or after 1st July 2016 from most export ports globally, all containerised seafreight shipments submitted for export will need to have a Verified Weight Declaration (VGM) submitted by Shippers.

For Australian exports, Verified Gross Mass (VGM) compliance actually starts on 22nd June 2016, which is the opening of the wharf terminal window for receivals for vessels sailing on/after 1st July 2016.

This is an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) global regulation, that in Australia is covered under Federal Government legislation administered through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), it requires shippers of containerised seafreight cargo to make a lawful weight declaration.

Attached to this email is both an explanatory fact sheet from Shipping Australia Limited (SAL), and a Magellan presentation which gives a more detailed explanation of the new Shipper responsibilities. In these documents you will see references and an explanation to the only 2 methods which can be used to identify the “gross mass” of a container, or its contents. Should you need further information, clarification or advice on utilising either of these methods, please feel free to contact myself, or any member of our Export Team.

We have also updated our Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) to include a Verified Gross Mass Shipper’s declaration. For FCLs, a separate declaration is required for each packed container. Any shipments departing on or after 1st July 2016 will need to have the shipment details submitted via this updated SLI.

The SLI and VGM weight declaration must be submitted to us prior to any FCL or LCL cargo being received at the wharf terminal and/or depot. Please note the process for us to receive that declaration from the shipper, then retransmit it in the prescribed manner to the parties receiving the cargo at the terminal/depot can take at least 2 hours during normal working hours (Monday to Friday).

FCL Cargo:

For FCL the document that needs to be submitted to the wharf terminals is the PRA, which cannot be completed or transmitted without the compliant weight declaration. No containers will be accepted at any of the wharf terminals in any Australian port without a PRA having been submitted and accepted prior to any container arriving at the terminal gate.

LCL Cargo:

For LCL cargo, there is an allowance at some receiving depots to weigh the shipment upon arrival in the depot, however this is not the case for all depots, and does come at a significant cost.

Should method 1 be used by a Shipper to declare the weight, we need to make sure that adequate time is allowed for the container to go via a compliant weighing facility.

As the verified gross mass is now a lawful declaration of weight, estimations of weight are not permitted.

  • We can receive the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Shipper’s declaration via any of the following means;
  • Original signed document via post/courier
  • Scanned signed document via email (PDF format).
  • Faxed signed document.
  • Transmitted XLS document, where the name of the person declaring the weight, is the same as the email address that the SLI/VGM is submitted to us on.

Should you need to discuss this process, get clarification on this new responsibility as a shipper, or just need advice on the options for getting your cargo weighed, please do not hesitate to give meor any of our Export Team a call on 1300 651 888.

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Reminder: SOLAS compliance deadline

The date for Safety Of Life At Sea / SOLAS compliance to the new global regulations is drawing near – 1 July 2016.

At that time, all shippers who tender seafreight cargo for export from just about any port in the world, will need to make a prescribed declaration of the weight of the shipment, prior to any containers being received at wharf terminals.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has mandated these new regulations, which become law on 1 July in 171 countries around the world – most of the countries that Australia trades with are signatories to this treaty.

The new regulations effective 1 July 2016 state the following…

The SOLAS compliance regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:

  1. The shipper may weigh the packed and sealed container using calibrated and certified equipment.
  2. The shipper may add the weight of each package stuffed in the container, add the packing and securing material and add the tare weight of the utilized container. The method itself needs to be certified and approved by a national regulatory body in the country of export.

An estimation of weight is not permitted.

This responsibility sits clearly with the Shipper of the goods under the regulations, not with any other party (ie. Packer, Freight Forwarder, Shipping Line etc).

What do you need to do as an importer:

  • Raise the issue with your suppliers and get confidence that they and their vendors are familiar with the new responsibilities on them as the Shipper of goods
  • Understand the Supplier’s supply points and if products come from external vendors, get comfort that the external vendors are familiar with their responsibilities
  • Ensure your suppliers are conforming with either methods 1 or 2 in the supply of a verified gross mass declaration, compliant to the applicable regulations in their country.

Whilst the compliance is a Shipper obligation, it becomes an Importer’s issue if any Shippers fail to comply on or after 1 July 2016.  Non-compliance to regulations at the point of export will most probably cause shipping lines to refuse receival of containers for shipment. It is an offence under SOLAS regulations for ocean carriers to load or carry any non-compliant shipments.

We have drafted a letter template that can be used to bring the issue of compliance to your shippers attention. Also, we have prepared a slidepack which further details the new requirements.

Please feel free to contact a Magellan Customer Service Representative should you need further information or clarification on these new regulations.

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SOLAS VGM NEW DRAFT MARINE ORDER 42

The following information has been provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) concerning the industry consultation on Marine Order 42.

“New Draft Marine Order 42” (Carriage, stowage and securing of cargoes and containers) 2016 is open for consultation until 30 April 2016.

Background: The current Marine Order 42 deals with carriage, stowage and securing of cargoes and includes requirements for loading of freight containers and blending of bulk liquid cargoes. The Order gives effect to Regulations 2 (Cargo information), 5 (Stowage and securing), and 5-2 (Blending of liquid bulk cargoes) of Chapter VI of the International Convention on Safety of Life of at Sea 1974 (SOLAS).

In November 2014, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted amendments to SOLAS chapter VI contained in IMO Resolution MSC.380 (94), which come into force internationally on 1 July 2016. The amendments provide new regulations for the verification of the gross mass of a packed container.

Marine Order 42 (NNF 2016/019) reflecting the SOLAS VGM amendment is amended to:

  • give effect to the new SOLAS regulations for verification of gross mass of containers
  • move existing requirements on weighing gross mass of containers from Marine Order 44 to this Order
  • move existing requirements of SOLAS Chapter VI Regulation 5-1 for material safety data sheets (MSDS) from Marine Order 21 to this Order
  • include SOLAS Chapter VI Regulation 4 on the use of pesticides on ships and for fumigation of cargo transport units
  • rename the Order to make it more appropriate to the subject and contents.

AMSA looks forward to comments and contributions from shippers that will assist AMSA in developing best regulation.

Should you wish to make submissions to AMSA, please visit the AMSA Consultation page.

The consultation process runs through to 30th April 2016.

Magellan’s submission to AMSA will be done though our representative industry bodies.

AMSA’s responsibility in the compliance of the new SOLAS regulations covers vessels and associated operations within Australian territory, and in particular are of interest to Australian Exporters, Shipping Lines, Terminal Operators and Freight Forwarders requiring compliance.

For information about your obligations under the new marine order and the amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS/VGM) Convention please contact Magellan on 1300 652 888 or download a copy of our SOLAS/VGM presentation.

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VERIFIED GROSS MASS INDUSTRY FAQS (SOLAS / VGM)

A SOLAS / VGM FAQs document has been compiled by TT Club in collaboration with World Shipping Council, Global Shippers’ Forum and ICHCA International in response to the many questions that have been raised by the industry in relation to the revised SOLAS / VGM regulation.   The amendments to this regulation have substantial impact on practices of parties in the international supply chain involved in the movement of containers by sea.

While the SOLAS / VGM convention relates to the safety of ships at sea, it is also concerned with shore based activities relating to the presentation of cargo that are fundamental to safe outcomes at sea.

These FAQs relate to new rules, effective from 1 July 2016, and provide considerable detail concerning the requirement for shippers to verify the gross mass of a container carrying cargo. The rules prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:

Download a copy of the SOLAS / VGM FAQs document from our site.

Or get in touch with the Magellan Customer Service team on 1300 651 888 or via www.magellanlogistics.com.au of you have specific question in relation to this.

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SOLAS / VGM – Understanding your obligations

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.

You can download a copy of the presentation here or get in touch with you Magellan contact on 1300 651 888.

 

 

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