Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) – VGM
Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Requirements
The international treaty known as the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) affects all shipment by water effective July 1, 2016.
SOLAS requires the filing of a Verified Gross Mass or weight (VGM) as a condition of loading your cargo on board the vessel.
No VGM on file. No movement of your cargo!
PNG Worldwide takes pride in being an industry leader for matters concerning compliance; therefore, we have available an updated Dock Receipt document which includes VGM mandatory data to be completed by all Full Container Load (FCL) shippers.
To Whom Does this Rule Apply?
If your cargo is moving under a Master Bill of Lading and you are shown as the shipper, then it is your responsibility, directly or indirectly through your forwarder, to file the VGM. If your cargo is moving under a House Bill of Lading, then you must provide the VGM to your NVO who will in turn file a back-to-back VGM on the shipment.
What is VGM and how do I get it?
The VGM is the total weight of the cargo in the container along with its pallets and bracing plus the Tare or empty weight of the container.
The Tare Weight of the Container is printed (in kilograms and pounds) on the door of the container along with the Container Number. It is good practice to provide your forwarder or NVO with a photograph of that labeling on the container along with your commercial invoice and packing list.
If you know the weight of the cargo that you have loaded into the container, you can use that to calculate the VGM. If you do not, you will need to weigh the loaded container.
By when do I have to file the VGM?
The VGM should be filed with the ocean carrier before your shipment is delivered to the carrier’s terminal. This means that whoever is packing the container must expedite delivery of the gross weight and the tare weight.
Note of Caution: Some terminals will NOT accept the cargo if the VGM is not already on file, which means that your cargo may be returned.
What happens if I do not have reliable information about the Gross Weight of cargo?
If you are shipping less than a container load, the consolidator will weigh the cargo as loaded or weigh the entire container once loaded.
If you are shipping projects, personal, or household goods, then the VGM will have to be determined by weighing the loaded container, which can cause delays and carry extra charges.
Accuracy of Weights
By booking and tendering cargo, you authorize us to sign and deliver VGMs to the carrier on your behalf.
As an NVO or Forwarder we have the right to rely upon the shipment details you provide.
As a shipper, by tendering cargo, you warrant the accuracy of the details of the shipment you tender along with all other information and agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any damages or penalties resulting from inaccuracies.
As with most regulation, SOLAS will increase the cost to manage a supply chain and PNG Worldwide may be required to apply a SOLAS Handling Fee after our operations analysis has been completed. PNG Worldwide will attempt to keep these costs to a minimum, but we will not be responsible for any costs associated with improper, untimely, or no VGMs being submitted to to us for further processing.
Please do not hesitate to contact your us at 717-626-1107 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information.