The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement

The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) will enforce the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) compliance process from July 1, 2016. Shippers will thus be made responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight and containers will not load if the documentation requirements are not honored.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) along with representatives from the industry have defined specific rules as part of the SOLAS Convention. The objective of the VGM requirement is to obtain an accurate weight of packed containers prior to loading of containers on ships, enabling the terminal operator to prepare a vessel stowage plan. The monitoring of the VGM rules will be the responsibility of the local government authorities.

How does VGM work

  • The Shipper named in the Bills of Lading is responsible for providing the VGM to the carrier in a reasonable time prior to vessel loading.
  • The VGM will include cargo weight inclusive of packaging and material used to secure the cargo along with the tare weight of the container.
  • The Carrier then relays the VGM to the terminal operator.
  • The Scale used for weighing the containers has to be certified in accordance to national Rules.
  • Carriers will not load containers without

We are working along with our partners to have processes and standards established and in place well before the new rule takes effect.

For more information, go to the World Shipping Council website: