Amendment to SOLAS Regulation 2 of Chapter VI has thrown entire globe into confusion and chaos for implementing the said regulation in letter and spirit with respect to facilities available and method of communicating verified gross mass to carriers and terminals.
The main requirements of SOLAS VGM rules are: (1)
- the shipper is responsible for providing the verified weight by stating it in the shipping document and submitting it to the master or his representative and to the terminal representative sufficiently in advance to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan; and
- the verified gross mass is a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship.
The verification of the gross mass can be achieved by either of two methods: (2)
- weighing the packed container; or
- weighing all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container and adding the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the State in which packing of the container was completed.
On 11th May Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India, had issued MS Notice No. 4 of 2016 “Guidelines for implementing amendment to Regulation 2 of Chapter- VI of the SOLAS Convention entering into force with effect from 01st July 2016 concerning verified gross mass of the container” which had stipulated methods 1 and 2 for providing verified gross of containers to be loaded from Indian ports from 1st July 2016.
The MS Notice No. 7 of 2016 issued on 22/06/2016 by Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India, has clarified certain points giving relaxation to MS Notice no. 4 of 2016 for a certain period. Major modifications are:
The Verified Gross Mass obtained from all weighbridges/weighing appliances having valid certification from the jurisdictional Department of Legal Metrology of the State/Union Territory of Government concerned will be accepted until 31.08.16.
Physical format (hardcopy) of the weight of container will be accepted instead through ‘dedicated secure website’ until 30.09.16.
5.3.1. The shipper of the factory stuffed packages (not for bulk solids) must submit duly completed Annexure 2 as specified in the MS Notice 4 of 2016 directly to the Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India along with its specified enclosures.
5.3.2. The Shipper must also enclose a copy of the Quality Management System Manual detailing the procedures adopted for stuffing packages in containers complying with method 2.
5.3.3. Directorate General of Shipping may verify compliance when required.
For full details read M.S. Notice No. 07 of 2016 – Supplementary/clarificatory additionalities to the guidelines issued vide this office MS Notice. 4 of 2016 dated 11.05.2016 concerning verified gross mass of containers – reg