Later this week, on July 1, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention amendments will take effect that require every loaded shipping container with an international destination to have a documented verified gross mass before it can be stowed aboard a vessel. The regulations apply to any size shipping container, tank container, flat rack, bulk container and shipper-owned container.
Shippers are responsible for obtaining and documenting the verified gross weight (VGM) of their loaded containers.
Affected Trade Lanes
These worldwide regulations apply to all containers that are to be loaded onto cargo vessels in any U.S. or foreign port, signatory to SOLAS and offered for international trade, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. The regulations do not currently apply to trade between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico, nor do they apply to trade from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Existing U.S. law already covers these trade lanes. Additionally, there are exemptions for certain international Roll On/Roll Off (RORO) shipments. If you have not already done so, we recommend you review the full SOLAS definitions and regulations here.
To help prepare you for this implementation and prevent unnecessary delays and congestion at the port, Crowley has updated its SOLAS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on our website, accessible here.
Here are a few important points of which you should be aware:
· Although we encourage you to obtain the tare weight stenciled on the back of containers, you may also locate the tare weights on our website here.
· If you have worked with a third party to ship less-than-container or other consolidated loads, the third-party consolidator may serve as the shipper of record.
· EDI 304 (Bill of Lading Instructions) will be available by July 1 to receive the VGM
· If you are working in the MyCrowley application, VGM acceptance will be available by mid-July. Until that time, southbound shippers may submit their VGM in writing to Crowley’s documentation team as outlined in the FAQ by trade lane. For northbound instructions, please consult with your local Crowley representatives in each country.
· For Vehicles, NIT and Breakbulk cargo, we recommend that you contact the terminal operator at the facility from which you will be shipping for specific instructions on providing the VGM.
Crowley is here to Help
You want your cargo to move expeditiously and without delay, as does Crowley. Over the coming week, we encourage you to review these updated FAQs to help provide greater clarity on what is required for you to successfully implement the new weight regulations. If you are not ready to comply with these new requirements, please know that Crowley can provide this service for you at an additional charge.
We are committed to ensuring you are kept informed about the rollout of the SOLAS VGM regulations, and we look forward to working with you on a smooth, successful implementation.