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SOLAS scales


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a new regulation under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) that requires Shippers to provide a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for all packed containers.

This takes effect from 1 July 2016. 

In order to support you being ready to comply this new regulation, Fr. Meyer's Sohn has been working with all Carriers on enhancement of systems and processes and is well prepared to submit the VGM into the respective Carrier systems.

1. What does this mean for you as a Shipper?

The SOLAS regulation puts the responsibility on the Shippers to provide the VGM, therefore you or your contracted stuffing plants are required to submit the total packed container mass data to Fr. Meyer's Sohn. 
Please review your internal processes to determine who is the legally defined party to submit the VGM and evaluate your weighing options. Decide if you will need to engage a weighing service provider. In case you make use of stuffing partners please instruct them to provide the VGM for you.

Please ensure to: 
Obtain your containers' VGM data 
Submit your containers' VGM data to Fr. Meyer's Sohn before deadline (you will find this information in our booking confirmation) 
Be aware of local authorities' SOLAS VGM implementation guidelines, including auditing and penalty rules (if any)

2. What exactly is verified gross mass (VGM)?

The VGM policy requires that the total weight of each full container must be measured and declared. This total weight includes the weight of all packaging and cargo items, as well as the container tare and all additional loading / lashing material.

VGM = Cargo & Packaging Weight + Container TARE + Loading Equipment Weight

3. How to determine VGM?

There are 2 methods given to determine the VGM:

1. Weighing the whole Container after it has been stuffed. 
VGM = total weight of full Container, Truck and Chassis - weight of Truck and Chassis

2. Weighing all cargo components, lashing material, adding Container Tare. 
VGM = Weight of all cargo components + Tare Weight of Container

In Reference to the SOLAS guidelines the method 2 is limited to those Companies with a valid ISO or AEO certification available for most countries.

4. What information is needed for VGM submission?

Below are the mandatory details you need to submit:

  • Booking or Bill of Lading No.
  • Container No. § Verified Gross Mass (VGM) in KG
  • Authorized Person's Full Name (in CAPITAL LETTERS)
5. What kind of channel can be used for submission:
  • EDI connection if in place
  • Email with packing list or separate document showing mandatory items as above

Fr. Meyer's Sohn will send the VGM to Carriers.

If you need further assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our local Fr. Meyer's Sohn colleagues.

FMS Colleague
Christian Feddersen

Deputy General Manager | Fr. Meyer's Sohn


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