Important: SOLAS Implementation July 1, 2016 – VGM Rule

Date: June 6, 2016
Subject: Important: SOLAS Implementation July 1, 2016 – VGM Rule
Delmar would like to remind our valued customers that the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea) adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Chapter Vl, part A, regulation 2 will come into effect July 1.

Irrespective of the country of origin for both LCL and FCL shipments, it will be required that a stuffed and stowed container have a verified gross mass (VGM) and that this information be submitted to the ocean going carrier prior to the delivery of the laden container to the port of loading. Any container received, that doesn’t have a declared and signed VGM will not be loaded by the ocean carrier.

Beneficial cargo owners and their respective suppliers that book cargo with a Delmar office will have to submit the VGM either electronically, by email, manually or by third party widely used portals. The responsibility for obtaining and providing the VGM lies with the shipper as shown on the Master Ocean Carrier’s Bill of Lading. The implementation of the SOLAS rules will be handled at a country level based on the origin pursuant to the IMO’s SOLAS Convention. There are two acceptable methods for shippers to report the VGM:

The Shipper may weigh the packed and sealed container using a calibrated and certified scale The shipper may add the weight of each package stuffed in the container, the packing and securing material as well as container tare weight. This method must be approved by a national regulatory body at the country of origin The VGM must be received by the carrier well in advance of the scheduled vessel departure. It is recommended that vendors (shippers) verify VGM submission cut-offs with the local Delmar office as there is no consistent rule to date. For imports from the Far- East, some carriers are advising that the VGM cut-offs will be the same as the shipping instructions (SI) cut-offs. For LCL services this will range between 72-84 hours prior to vessel departure. Again – carrier closing times need to be verified at the time of booking. The VGM declaration will also have to be signed by the shipper (cargo owner) or an authorized shipper representative.

For more detailed information from the World Shipping Council regarding SOLAS, please click here.

Delmar will establish VGM “handling” and “submission” fees in the coming weeks once costs are ascertained and carriers establish their respective fees.

For additional information, please contact your local Delmar representative.

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