SOLAS Update on Eve of Implementation

As the global shipping community begins to transmit VGM information to steamship lines, questions and concerns remain as to the process and the enforcement. We are entering the 90 day transition period where there remains some flexibility available in methodology and enforcement as all countries adapt to the new rules.

The IMO issued a statement in early June, indicating that he three-month aim has two purpose. First, it permits packed containers that are loaded on a ship before the July 1 deadline and are transshipped on or after July 1 to be shipped to their final port without a declaration of their verified gross mass, or VGM. Additionally, the transition period also will aid member states by “providing flexibility to all the stakeholders in containerized transport to refine, if necessary, procedures for documenting, communicating and sharing VGM information.”

Some countries have issued strict compliance requirements, such as Canada, England, and Japan, while other countries such as France have announced that they will implement the 90 day transition period. WSSA is happy to answer any questions or provide specific information on how origin countries are handling the VGM process. Our forwarding partner, Albatrans, is fully equipped and committed to assisting all shippers with the required forms, advising on the VGM methods, and supplying scaling services when needed.

From the USA side, press releases today provide relief to exporters as most steamship lines are agreeing to utilize the weights provided by the marine terminal operators as the necessary VGM, thus exporters will not need to provide the certification.

This is all a work in progress and updates are happening moment by moment, country by country.

Below please find a link to the expanded FAQs provided on the World Shipping Council website.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or need any specific information for your specific trade lane.


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