Effective 1 July 2016
Shipping containers is a pretty safe business. However, in recent years, the industry has seen some major incidents at sea and on shore arising from packed containers that had incorrect weight declarations. To prevent these, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in collaboration with industry representatives, has therefore adopted specific rules as part of the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention including a Verified Gross Mass (VGM).
The purpose of the VGM requirement is to obtain an accurate gross weight of packed containers so that vessel and terminal operators can prepare vessel stowage plans prior to loading cargo on ships. The requirement will protect vessel and terminal operators' people and assets, as well as shippers' cargo.