Major Carriers Issue Guidance on New SOLAS Container Weight Rule

On March 21, the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA), an association of 18 major ocean carriers, released its Recommended Best Practice for Acceptance and Transmission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM). The document confirms that if a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for a container is not provided by the time of loading, the container will not be loaded by an OCEMA member carrier. The new SOLAS container weight rule requires that, “as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight. This requirement will become legally effective on July 1, 2016.” FASA/Gemini will continue to work to bring clarity to, and keep members apprised on, this important issue.