New SOLAS Shipping Container Weight Verification Regulations Take Effect July 1st

The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) has been approved by International Maritime Organization to make sure that containers being shipped via ships must have a defined and validated weight. The responsibility of verified shipping container weight is assigned solely to the organization whose shipping the item. This new rule will become active starting July 1, 2016. Therefore, once the regulated package requirement is in effect, a violation would be assigned to the ship controller and marine terminal operator if the weight of the containers onboard have not been confirmed.
SOLAS Shipping Container Weight Verification Requirements

The SOLAS container weight verification requirements state that there are two avenues shippers can take in order to define the container’s weight once the packaging phase has occurred. If you live on the Earth, this rule applies to you. All people involved with the shipping process will need to create guidelines and policies to enforce these guidelines: guidelines teaching how to verify the weight of a container. There are questions concerning the fine print details of these new SOLAS container weight verification requirements; the World Shipping Council has given an outlined rundown of the new policies.

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Procedures

First the container that will be placed on the ship for shipment must have a proven weight through a simple weighing process on a shipping truck scale or appropriate weighing system. People in control of these containers will technically be reprobating against SOLAS if they do not have a clarified weight of their containers. This rule is cemented and there are no exceptions.
SOLAS Maritime Container Weight Verification

There are two ways to weigh a container according to the new SOLAS amendments. The first method is weighing the container, fully loaded with whatever contents are inside. The second method is weighing the contents of the container and the container separately, then adding the two weighs. The weight of only the empty container will be posted on the door of he container.

Weights must be definite, and it is not allowed for someone to give an estimation of the weight. The organization in control of the package must actually weigh the container, in order to have the exact weight. The scale or piece of equipment being used to weigh out the container must pass the national certification and calibration requirements. The organization whose packing the container cannot used a weight given from some other party.

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Procedures

The organization whose carrying the container can use the weight verification of the shipper in order to ensure accuracy. The third-party logistics carrier is not required to verify again the shipper’s weight verification. SOLAS container weight verification policies do not require the carrier to prove that a shipper has followed the proper container weight verification procedures, according to the authority of the packing and sealing process of the container. The carrier must sign the container or papers related to the container in order to represent the shipper and the accuracy of the weight calculations the shipper used, on behalf of the shipper.
Weighing Shipping Container Weight

If there is no signing to prove the defined weight the shipper recorded, then the full container can be weighted at the shipping port. If the shipping port terminal has no weighing equipment then an alternative must be used in order to determine the weight of the container; if the weight cannot be provided, the container will not be put onto the ship.

It is up to the jurisdiction of the shipping terminals to decide what the process will be if a container arrives that does not have signed proof of the container’s weight from the shipper. The terminal will determine the process to weigh the containers and the weight addition onto the ships stowing plan. When the container is weighed at the shipping port loading area, the weight will be used for vessel stow planning.

Shipping stow plans are also required to have weights that are verified for every container onboard the ship. All commercial parties will be held responsible for the confirmed gross mass of the containers and the proportional distribution of costs involved.

If there is a difference between the weight of the container prior to the verification process, and post verification process, then it will be solved by using the post verified weight. The weight of a container as weighed at the port terminal will be used if there is a difference between weight of the container found at the terminal and the alleged weight of the container prior to its delivery to the terminal.

For more information on the new SOLAS shipping container weight verification requirements, visit WorldShipping.org.

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