From the 1st July 2016, the shipper will be responsible for verifying the weight of a packed container prior to loading onto a ship for export.
This requirement follows regulatory amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), announced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in November 2014.
Under the terms of the SOLAS amendments, which apply globally, there are two methods for shippers to determine the weight of a packed container. These are summarised as follows:
In both instances, an estimation of weight is not permitted. The shipper (or elected 3rd party) must use weighing equipment which complies to the accuracy standards of the Weights and Measurements Act.
Once weighed, a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) certificate must be completed and signed by a person representing the shipper. Containers without an accompanying VGM are considered in violation of the SOLAS amendments and will not be loaded at port.
For full details please see the Verified Gross Mass Industry FAQS.
Champion Freight is currently conducting a thorough review of the above changes, working on behalf of shippers throughout New Zealand to improve awareness and aid preparation.
During this time we have been working closely with Maritime New Zealand who will make a determination on 'National issues' outlined within the scope the SOLAS amendments. An invitation to provide comment to the agency is currently open, which concludes at 5:00 PM on Friday 11 March 2016 (unless otherwise extended).
It's our aim to use this period to further confirm the role and obligations of shippers, identifying any areas of concern or potential compliance inhibitors. This includes the identification and access to satisfactory weighing equipment if exporters do not have their own measuring facilities.
We will post updates here as they come to hand.
Please contact us on 03 378 0560 if you have any questions or require further assistance.