Insights - February 2016 - (Page 7)

Container Weight Verification a 2016 Reality Beginning July 1, 2016, new international maritime regulations go into effect worldwide requiring shippers to provide the verified gross mass (VGM) of an ocean container carrying cargo to vessel and marine terminal operators. This new mandatory requirement was adopted by the International Maritime Organization in November 2014 as amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter VI, Part A, Regulation 2 - Cargo Information. Because the United States is a member state of the IMO and is party to SOLAS, international maritime legislation adopted by the IMO becomes federal law and is enforced in the United States by the Coast Guard. This is a significant safety issue as overweight cargo where weights have been improperly reported have previously led to injuries and death to vessel and shore-side workers; ship instability; collapsed container stacks; structural failures on vessels; damage to container handling equipment and chassis; higher operating costs and supply chain delays; shut-out of accurately declared cargoes, as well as road safety problems and overweight trucks. New SOLAS Amendments Basic Principles: 1. Before a packed container can be loaded onto a ship, its weight must be determined through weighing. There is no exception to this requirement; the transition period started in 2014. 2. There are two permissible methods for weighing: Method 1: Weigh the packed container. Method 2: Weigh the cargo, dunnage and other contents and add tare weight of the container. 3. Estimating the weight is not permitted. The shipper must weigh or arrange for weighing of packed container or its contents. The weighing equipment must meet national, state or local certification and calibration requirements (the accuracy standards and requirements of the jurisdiction in which the equipment is being used) to ensure accuracy. Because the United States is a member state of the IMO and is party to SOLAS, international maritime legislation adopted by the IMO becomes federal law and is enforced in the United States by the Coast Guard. 4. A carrier may rely on a shipper's properly derived weight verification to be accurate using Method 1 or 2. However, the shipper remains responsible for the verified weight to be communicated to the carriers and the marine terminal operators. 5. Governments may apply enforcement tolerance limits. This does not relieve the shipper from obligation to provide verified weight obtained from weighing. 6. Carriers and terminals may rely on shipper's "signed" weight verification. "Signed" means: - A specific person representing the shipper must be named and identified as having verified the accuracy of weight; and, - The weight verification is to be provided as or be part of a shipping document (e.g. declaration including a weight ticket); and, - The shipping document can be electronic. 7. Vessel stow plans should use verified weights for all packed containers loaded on board. The new regulations do not specify a one-size-fits-all solution to this issue, instead leaving the decisions regarding how and when to determine the VGM up to the shippers. Additionally, because there are so many parties involved in the supply chain and operations differ from port to port and terminal to terminal, the exact process will vary between locations and carriers. For example, some marine terminals may have equipment to weigh and provide a VGM for containers on-site, while others will outright prohibit cargo without the shipper's provided VGM. Therefore, it is important that all parties work out the processes and protocols for how their organizations will handle transmitting a VGM through the supply chain and who will be held responsible for delays, weighing, disruptions or additional fees. Shippers must talk to their carriers and terminals now about how they are preparing to obtain, provide, transmit and use proper verified container weights. The responsibility ultimately resides with the shippers; however, should shippers and their carriers remain unprepared for the July deadline it has the potential to cause significant problems down the supply chain and delays at terminals, compounding driver issues and port congestion. For additional SOLAS resources, visit IANA's Industry Issues web page. February 2016 | Intermodal Insights 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Insights - February 2016

Insights - February 2016
FMCSA Proposes Fitness Revisions
IANA Announces Expanded Sponsorship Package
IANA’s Chair Discusses Association’s 2016 Priorities
Container Weight Verification a 2016 Reality
Freight Reports
Sustainability News
Caution Urged on California Driver Reclassification
Port News
In Brief
People in the News
Welcome New Members
Intermodal Calendar

Insights - February 2016

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