Monday, November 2, 2015
Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS)

There's nothing that we are more passionate about than the safety of the supply chain and the importance of correct container weights.  This all revolves around the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which relates to the verified weight of containers and their cargo.  On July 1 2016 the shipping industry will change for the better with the following changes to be made.

Changes to SOLAS

The relevant amendments to SOLAS Chapter IV, expected to enter into force on July 1 2016, relate to Part A of Regulation 2. The amendments require verification of the gross mass of containers by shippers.

In the case of cargo carried in a container, the gross mass must be verified by the shipper. Verification can be achieved in two ways:

  • weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment; or
  • weighing all packages and cargo items and adding the tare mass, as well as using a certified method approved by a competent state authority for packing the container.
The shipper of a container must ensure that the verified gross mass is stated in the shipping document. The shipping document must be:
  • signed by a person duly authorised by the shipper; and
  • submitted to the master and the terminal representative sufficiently in advance, as required by the master, to be used in the preparation of the stowage plan.
If the shipping document does not provide the verified gross mass, and if the master and the terminal representative have not received the verified gross mass of the packed container, the container must not be loaded onto the ship.

The sooner that these changes enter into force, the safer our seafarers and all involved in the movement of cargo will be.

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