VGM Statement Request Information

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) new rules to verify the container weight before loading to ships comes into force from 1st July, 2016.

International Maritime Organization, abbreviated as IMO, has revised a new regulation in《Safety of life at Sea》abbreviated as SOLAS convention. Starts from 1st July, 2016, as a prerequisite for loading the goods, unless the shipper on the bill of lading provide ocean carrier and/or wharf representative the loaded container verified weight (Verified Gross Mass, abbreviated as VGM), container loading will be no longer permitted.

The shipment list made by adopting the inaccurate container weight, will bring huge risk for personnel placement, vessel, wharf and equipment. There are no rules/procedures to verify the weight of the load provided from shipper on the bill of lading, thus lead to huge risks on safety of life at sea.

New regulations will be implement in global scope, it’s shipper’s responsibility to undertake the cost and duty might produced by VGM information missing or error in the global ports. IMO stipulates from 1st July to 30th September is the flexible stage of new rule, during this period in accordance with the local rules issued by the maritime sector, the rules of  "no shipment without VGM " will be implemented strictly at any time.

New rules specify: 
- The shipper on the bill of lading need be responsible for provide container weight 
- There are two approved weighing ways to conclude the container weight 
- Terminal operators have an obligation to ensure that only containers with verified weight could load to vessel

Contrapose the new rules of specific matters need attention are as follows:
1.The shipper on the bill of lading must provide accurate VGM information to the shipping company or agent before the deadline, if failed to submit within deadlines, then cargo could not be shipped.
2.Tentative VGM deadline is to submit before heavy containers coming back to terminal, specific time is subject to the SO from carrier.
3.The shipper on the bill of lading must use one of the following two methods to provide verified total weight of each export container goods:
(1)The shipper on the bill of lading weighings the whole container which has been finished loading, and locked and sealed
(2)The shipper on the bill of lading weighings all individual goods inside the container (including bale, packaging and fixed tray, dyes and other fixing materials) separately, then sum the weights up, and plus container tare weight shown on the container door in order to  get the total verified weight. (Note: the estimated or speculated weight will no longer be allowed)
(3)No matter using what way the weighing equipment must comply with local laws and regulations standard, files with verified weight must be signed & named by the shipper on the bill of lading, and then submit to the carrier real-time via electronic transmission or entities file, in order to ship the goods.
(4)It does not provide specific third party weighing organization by far.

4.The carrier does not undertake any responsibility caused by VGM information missing or wrong. VGM information submitted has no relations with the sea freight, the bill of lading weight and customs weight, only commitment to safety, the carrier does not provide advice or help to fill in the VGM information. 

5.The problem due to VGM information missing or wrong (such as unable to ship, push off voyage etc.) result in changes in sea freight and other fees, shall be borne by the shipper on the bill of lading.

6.Wharf and the carrier will not verify the accuracy of the VGM, but wharf can be questioned, IMO will take random inspection in global port, once appear problem, related responsibility shall be borne by the shipper on the bill of lading.

7.The VGM information aims at port mother vessel at present, feeder barge and inland transport is not in the scope. Shipment of empty container and bulk cargo also does not need to submit VGM information, loaded containers must be provided.

8.VGM has no relations with bill of lading cut-off, can be submitted with the bill of lading information at the same time, also can be submitted separately. Any form must be submitted before the deadline.

9.The weights error range between Verified Gross Mass should not more than ±5% or 1 ton (taking smaller one from these two), and the weight could not exceeding the largest container approval weight.

10.Maritime management institutions at all levels will take random inspection to the ship carrying cargo container weight verification condition. 

The problems after submitting:
1.VGM could not be resubmit after submit, only can be modified. VGM is corresponding with the bill of lading number and container number, if change the bill of lading number, need to resubmit VGM. Goods need custom clearance separately only input the VGM corresponds to container number of that bill (one contianer number to custom clearance twice, also only input information corresponding to the container number).
2.VGM can be modified many times before deadline, the specific cost has not been confirmed. Whether VGM can be modified after the deadline has not been confirmed temporarily, neither of the costs.
3.VGM information will not show on the bill of lading after submitted.