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March 2, 2016

Container shippers must provide gross verified weights as of July 1, 2016

As of July 1, 2016, container shippers must verify and provide a container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative prior to loading on a ship, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has reported in its February edition of its “Scrap Policy & Advocacy News.”

The rules will be implemented and enforced by the maritime authority of each individual nation, which is the Coast Guard in the U.S. ISRI notes that the regulations are not yet in place in the U.S.

On Nov. 21, 2014, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 94) officially adopted this new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) requirement.

The association reports that there are two allowable ways to determine gross weight under the SOLAS amendments. In the first method, upon completion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh or arrange for a third party to weigh the container. In the second method, the shipper or a third party it selects may weigh all the packages and cargo items, including pallets, dunnage and other packaging and securing material to be packed in the container, adding the tare weight of the container to the total of the single weights using a certified method.

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According to ISRI, shippers must ensure the verified gross mass in the shipping document, which must be signed by a person authorized by the shipper, and submitted to the carrier and terminal representative. The association says shippers likely will be able to submit the weight information electronically to carriers to avoid bottlenecks at ports.

ISRI members can contact Eric Harris (ericharris@isri.org) or Bill Johnson (billy johnson@isri.org) for further information on SOLAS.

The World Shipping Council, Washington, also has prepared a guidance document, available online at http://bit.ly/1It3x1c.