In 2014 the International Maritime Organisation has agreed to adjusting the SOLAS regulation VI/2. This adaption involves that the party, which has been notified as shipper on the B/L, has the responsibility to pass on the verified gross weight (VGW) or verified gross mass (VGM) to the carrier. This needs to be done after a container has been loaded and before a container will be loaded on board of a vessel. In case a verified container weight has not been passed on, the container will not be allowed to go on board of a vessel.
This rule will apply as of July 1st, 2016.
The weight can be determined in 2 ways:
1. The weight of a loaded container will be verified by weighing the container on a certified and calibrated platform scale/weigh bridge.
2. The weight of a loaded container will be verified by the shipper and proved based on a certified calculation procedure.
Dutch way of implementation
Every national government has the authority to certify a calculation method. The Administration of Infrastructure and Environment (I&E) has installed a task force of different stakeholders out of the Government and trade and industry, to implement these instructions in the Netherlands. FENEX is represented in this task force.
The starting points of the way of implementation have largely been determined. It is to be expected that these rules will be transferred into legislation in the later part of 2015. Following Fenex will organise briefings for her grassroots. The IMO regulations leaves a lot of aspects to the market. During the briefings Fenex will refer to this topic in particular.
Most important starting points of Dutch way of implementation
Weighing of a container
In case of weighing, certified weighing equipment need to be used.
Certified calculation weighing method
I&E wants to organise this legislation with a least administration possible for trade and industry. The intended effect is to allow companies, which have their processes in place, to verify the weight of a loaded container by a calculation method. Load, packing material and tarra weight of the container need to be added together within this method.
To use the certified calculation method, companies need to have proven a sufficient degree of internal control. To decrease the burden, companies that are in possession of certain certifications, which guarantee a sufficient degree of internal control, are expected to meet this requirement. Examples are:
1. AEO certified companies (type C, S and F)
2. ISO certified companies (ISO 9001, ISO 28001, et cetera)
3. Companies which should meet regulations of third countries which obligate to submit the correct information to the authorities of this third country (for example: export to the United States).
After consideration with Fenex and EVO, ILT suggested that companies, which repeatedly report false weights through this method, could temporarily be deprived of the possibility to verify the weight through this method.
Allowed margin of error
In the starting points, an allowed margin of error of 5% has been adopted, with a minimum of 500 kilo. Containers, of which the given weight deviates more than this margin of error, will not be allowed to be loaded on board of the vessel.
The allowed margin of error is especially of importance with regards to the application of the calculation method. Load, packing material and tarra weight of the container need to be added together within this method. However, several tests show that the tarra weight mentioned on the container differs from the actual tarra weight. For these reasons and others, Fenex and EVO argued for a margin of at least 5%.
The contrasts in the tarra-weight of the containers will specially be considered in light containers. Because Fenex insisted on a minimum margin of 500 kilo, this has been taken into account. Practically this means that at containers weighing less than 10.000 kilo, a larger margin of error than 5% is allowed (500 kilo is already 5% of 10.000 kilo).
the enforcement will mostly be done administratively. This means that ILT will not commit capacity for a structural check of container weights. The most important rule will be a commercial one: a false or lacking container weight means that the container will not be shipped. In case of incidents, ILT could become involved which may lead to administrative or criminal penalties.