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Web Alert: The end of the 'grace period' for verification of the gross mass of containers

07 October 2016

On 1 July 2016, new requirements to verify the gross mass of a packed container entered into force under the International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS).

As a result of these new requirements coming into force, concerns were raised at the 96th session of the Maritime Safety Committee. Consequently, the IMO issued a circular (MSC.1/Circ.1548), encouraging authorities to adopt a ‘practical and pragmatic’ approach to SOLAS verified gross mass (VGM) for the first three months of the new regulations entry into force, as previously reported by the Club.

This ‘grace period’ expired on 1 October 2016. It is now expected that maritime authorities will enforce the VGM container weight requirement with more vigorous application of the law.
Members are recommended to refer to the Club’s guidance on VGM for further details on this subject.