Verified Gross Weight for 2016 Ocean Containers

As we wind down 2015 we eagerly anticipate another amazing year in logistics as 2016 dawns. We all expect new challenges and continued growth into 2016, but are prepared to deal with some interesting new ocean regulations coming up in July as ocean containers will need to have a Verified Gross Weight certificate (VGW). Here at KFS, we understand that there will be new information coming as this regulation rolls out and we are here to help. We’ve complied a Q&A to give you some of the available information and will keep you updated on how we can comply with this as your cargo moves through the second half of 2016. We are here to assist you, either with obtaining your VGW, using your current weights of consolidated containers to create a VGW or by repacking and arranging your heavy equipment so it’s all completely within these new standards. KFS is here to help and guide you.

According to, The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its 93rd session (May 2014) approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention regarding a mandatory container weight verification requirement on shippers. This is an effort WSC has been advocating for many years. Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargo and Containers (DSC) Sub-committee approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention that will require verification of container weights before loaded containers may be placed aboard ships. The DSC report was approved by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2014 and adopted by MSC in November 2014. The requirement making container weight verification a condition for vessel loading will become legally binding on July 1, 2016”

Open container with cardboard boxes on the world map. Transportation concept.

What does it mean to provide a Verified Gross Weight (VGW)?
The VGW is the certified Gross Cargo weight (including weight of all packing material) plus Container Tare weight.

Who is responsible to provide the Verified Gross Weight?
The Shipper is responsible to provide the VGW.

How do we provide a Verified Gross Weight?

The SOLAS regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:

Method No.1: Upon the conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged that a third party weighs, the packed container.

Method No.2: The shipper (or, by arrangement of the shipper, a third party), may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses using a certified method as designated by the state in which the packing and sealing of the container was completed.

What is the date of implementation?
1st of July 2016.

When is a Verified Gross Weight required?
VGW is required prior to shipment. Cargo will not be loaded onto a vessel unless a certified VGW is provided.

What happens if a Verified Gross Weight cannot be provided?
Cargo will not be loaded and port fees, rolling fees, and storage charges could be due until a VGW is received.

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