Data updated as of: October 01 2022 07:34:00
Manila International Container Terminal

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to require that a packed container’s gross weight be verified before the container can be loaded on board a ship. The SOLAS amendment provides that no container without a verified gross mass (VGM) can be loaded on board a ship.

The responsibility for obtaining and documenting the verified gross weight of a packed container (or containerized cargo) lies with the shipper. Unless otherwise directed by the relevant government authority, the shipper shall provide this information before or by the time the container is delivered to the terminal. The shipper shall indemnify and shall hold the Terminal Operator free and harmless from any liability, loss or damage arising from an erroneous VGM of a packed container (or containerized cargo).

However, if the Terminal Operator addresses an uncertainty about the gross mass of a packed container by weighing the container, the weight obtained by the Terminal Operator shall be used for vessel stowage planning. The shipper recognizes that, if he fails to provide a verified container weight as called for by the SOLAS amendments, the Terminal Operator may refuse gate-in of the container subject to the regulations of the local port authority. In the event that the Terminal Operator is mandated to be the official VGM source by the relevant authority or is contracted to obtain a verified container weight, there shall be a cost for such services that the affected parties will need to address.

SOLAS regulation VI/5 requires that a container not be packed to more than the maximum gross mass indicated on the Safety Approval Plate under the IMO’s Convention for Safe Containers (CSC), as amended. A container with a gross mass exceeding its maximum permitted gross mass may not be loaded onto a ship.


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