The New Solas Container Weight Verification Requirements
In recent years, there have been some major incidents at sea and on land arising from packed containers with incorrect weight declarations
As a result, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) international treaty to require, as a condition before loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container must have proper weight verification.
From July 1st, 2016, the new SOLAS regulations will become legally binding and will affect the entire ocean freight industry. The shipper (or a third party under the shipper’s responsibility) will be required to ensure all packed containers’ gross mass is verified prior to stowage aboard an ocean vessel.
The weight of a container can be determined using one of two methods. A container can be weighed after it has been packed, or alternatively all the contents of the container can be weighed and the weights can be added to the container’s tare weight. Estimating the weight, in whatever way, will not be permissible.
After this date, it would be a violation of the SOLAS Convention to load a packed container onto a vessel if the vessel operator (shipper) and marine terminal operator do not have verified container weights. These rules have been sanctioned to ensure the safety of the vessel, cargo, workers on-board vessels, workers ashore and overall safety at sea.
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