New SOLAS Shipping Regulation to Impact Ocean Shipments

A new regulation from SOLAS (Safety of Life convention of the International Maritime Organization or IMO) will impact all international household goods shipments being shipped via an ocean container on a global basis.

DATE OF ALERT: March 2016

IMPACTED: All clients who ship international household goods via ocean container

OVERVIEW: On July 1, 2016, a new regulation from SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea convention of the International Maritime Organization or IMO) takes effect requiring shippers whose name appears on the bill of lading to verify the gross mass (VGM) of an ocean container carrying cargo (including household goods) when tendering the container to the ocean carrier and terminals.

DETAILS: The regulation becomes an international law under the IMO as well as a national law within 162 countries that are signatories to the SOLAS convention. The legally responsible party for providing a VGM signed either electronically or on paper is considered the shipper. Approximately 300,000 ocean container weights will need to be certified each day globally.

This global law prohibits the onboarding of a loaded container without a VGM on file. As such terminals and ocean carriers will likely to refuse loaded ocean containers that do not have a VGM certifying the weight of the container. The regulation applies to all loaded containers which are scheduled to be on boarded to a vessel under SOLAS in international maritime traffic. This regulation will have a major impact on global household goods shipments intended to travel via ocean container.

The new SOLAS regulation was designed to capture and verify the weight of the ocean container before it is loaded onto a vessel. The regulations are intended to benefit the following parties:

• Shippers: Reduced risks of damages to the cargo being shipped

• Carriers: Increased safety for crew and vessel by improved stowage.


Published On: May 30, 2016

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