Shippers should prepare for new container weight regulations
OCT 15, 2015: Shippers need to ensure they are prepared for new container weight verification rules that come into force next year, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has advised.
FTA says shippers could fall foul of the new legislation after 1 July 2016 if they don’t put measures in place to verify the gross mass of containers before shipment.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea convention (SOLAS) requiring every packed export container to have its weight verified before being loaded onto a ship.
Chris Welsh, FTA’s director of Global & European Policy, said, “Shippers will be responsible for verifying container weights before loading and they need to be putting plans in place now to ensure they are ready. Containers without a verified weight won’t be loaded onto container vessels from 1 July 2016.”
Two methods of verifying weight are acceptable – either weighing the packed container using certified and calibrated equipment or using a calculated weight method which involves summing the individual items separately, and adding the tare weight of the container and packing materials using an approved process.
FTA has worked with UK supply chain stakeholders including the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) to develop an accreditation scheme for shippers using the calculated weight method of verification. The Accredited Shipper Approval Scheme will allow them to use approved audit-based systems to comply with the new rules.
Welsh said, “The countdown towards 1 July 2016 is looming with nine months to go before implementation. Shippers should now start discussions with their carriers and freight forwarders to set in place the logistics and communications systems to ensure compliance with the new rules and to avoid non-shipment and delays in the supply chain.”