Resolution on the Smooth Implementation
of the SOLAS Convention on the VGM of Containers
Adopted on May 11, 2016 by the IAPH Board of Directors at
IAPH Mid-term Ports Conference in Panama
RECOGNIZING that the amendments to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety
of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention will go into effect on July 1, 2016, requiring all
shippers to certify and submit the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of containers to the carriers
and terminal operators in advance of loading the container aboard a vessel.
RECALLING that IAPH adopted a resolution on “the Verification of Container Weight in
the Supply Chain” at Los Angeles in 2013, requesting the establishment of compulsory
rules to require shippers to weigh and make correct declaration.
On a proposal duly seconded, it is unanimously resolved that
NOTING that there are concerns as listed below about the implementation of the new rule
among the parties concerned,
- IAPH fully endorses the new requirements on the VGM under the SOLAS Convention
as amended in order to improve the safety of the supply chain.
- IAPH strongly urges national authorities to communicate the accepted tolerance levels
for weighing equipment used to determine, and where necessary verify a declared VGM.
It is important that this level of tolerance allows sufficient flexibility as it should not
create blockages to the supply chain while also not in any way jeopardising improved
- IAPH urges parties concerned that the verified gross mass (VGM) and any other
relevant information will always be communicated by the shipper to the carrier and to
the terminal operator, unless it has been contractually arranged that this information is
supplied by any other party. The shipper remains responsible for communicating via the
agreed chain of communication and in accordance with an agreed timetable. All aims
should be to communicate the VGM prior to the delivery of a packed container to a port
terminal facility. It should be noted in the event this does not happen it is possible the
terminal will refuse entry of that container.