New SOLAS requirements for the Verification of the Gross Mass of Containers: Implementation of change to SOLAS Chapter VI
Marine Notice No. 05 of 2016
Notice to all Shippers, Consignors, Freight Forwarder, Shipowners, Masters, Charterers,Terminal Operators, Ports, Carriers, Seafarers and others involved in the transport of containers
Following concerns raised internationally by the shipping industry in relation to the mis-declaration of container weights, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), Chapter VI, Regulation 2. These changes come into force internationally on 1st July 2016.
The changes to the convention are as follows:
SOLAS CHAPTER VI
CARRIAGE OF CARGOES AND OIL FUELS
Regulation 2 – Cargo information
The following new paragraphs 4 to 6 are added after existing paragraph 3:
"4 In the case of cargo carried in a container*, except for containers carried on a chassis or a trailer when such containers are driven on or off a ro-ro ship engaged in short international voyages as defined in regulation III/3, the gross mass according to paragraph 2.1 of this regulation shall be verified by the shipper, either by:
5 The shipper of a container shall ensure the verified gross mass** is stated in the shipping document. The shipping document shall be:
6 If the shipping document, with regard to a packed container, does not provide the verified gross mass and the master or his representative and the terminal representative have not obtained the verified gross mass of the packed container, it shall not be loaded on to the ship.”
Guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo have been produced by the IMO in IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1475 which accompanies this notice.
These changes, which come into effect on the 1st July 2016, will make it mandatory for the shipper to provide a verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo to the Master of a ship or their representative prior to stowage aboard ship. The shipper is also responsible for ensuring that the verified gross mass is communicated in the shipping documents sufficiently in advance to be used by the ship’s master or their representative and the terminal representative in the preparation of the ships stowage plan.
From 1st July 2016 a container carrying cargo shall not be loaded on a ship without the gross mass of the container being verified.
The Shipper in these regulations means a legal entity or person named on the bill of lading or sea waybill or equivalent multimodal transport document (e.g. “through” bill of lading) as shipper and/or who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contract of carriage has been concluded with a shipping company.
Methods for obtaining the verified gross mass of a packed container
Two methods are prescribed by which a shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container.
Method No. 1
Method No. 2
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