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Verified Gross Mass (SOLAS)

On the 1st July 2016, the amendment to SOLAS comes into force which requires the shipper to provide a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a loaded container prior to loading onto a vessel.

There will be two Methods to establish VGM which can be summarised as follows:-

  • Method 1-to weigh the loaded container on a weighbridge
  • Method 2-to weigh individual consignments, add the cumulative weights together plus the Tare weight of the container and dunnage

In all cases calibrated and certified equipment has to be used to established the VGM.  In the UK it was agreed that a certification scheme would be established for those companies wishing to use Method 2.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have now announced details of the scheme for those companies wishing to use Method 2 which can be viewed by clicking on the following link:- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/verification-of-the-gross-mass-of-packed-containers-by-sea

The MCA will begin issuing ‘Method 2’ approvals by the next financial year (beginning 6 April 2016). There will be a fee for the processing of the application, which must be paid in advance of the Approval Document being issued. Applicants will have the option of paying by credit card or bank transfer, and should quote their application number when making payment.

Shippers who have already applied will be contacted to determine if they wish to proceed with their application and asked for payment. Once processing of the application has started, the shipper will be contacted with their application number and details of how to make payment.

Shippers who have not yet applied may apply now and provided a completed application and the associated payment is received prior to 15th June it will be processed before 1st July, applications received, or applications where the payment is received after 15th June will not be guaranteed to be processed before to 1st July.

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