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Reminder: Cargo Container Weight Verification Requirement to Take Effect July 1

Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Effective July 1, packed cargo containers must have a verified container weight before being loaded onto a vessel. This requirement will apply within the 170 countries and three associate members that are signatories to the International Maritime Organization. The World Shipping Council has made available a guidance document to explain how this requirement will affect shippers, carriers and terminal operators.

In November 2014 the IMO adopted amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea that require the shipper of a packed container to provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative sufficiently in advance of vessel loading to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan. A verified container weight will be a condition for loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export, and the vessel operator and the terminal operator will be prohibited from loading a packed container aboard a vessel for export if it does not have a verified container weight.

To ensure compliance with the SOLAS amendments, participants within the supply chain (especially shippers, carriers and terminal operators) will need to establish and implement processes to ensure that the verified container weights are provided to the necessary parties in a timely fashion and are used by the terminal operator and vessel operator in the vessel’s container stowage plan. The WSC is urging all regulated parties to be prepared to abide by this requirement by the July 1 deadline and states that its guidance identifies elements both of the regulatory requirements and of a non-regulatory nature that regulated parties will need to consider.

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