05 February 2016

CLECAT issues guidelines on Container Weighing

CLECAT has issued guidelines on the implementation of the SOLAS amendments on container weighing. The document gives recommendations to industry and governments on how to comply with a number of outstanding issues, which still need to be addressed by many in view of the looming implementation deadline of July 2016.

The document sets out an urgent call for action from regulators and shipping lines, to ensure that they outline their policies to implement the SOLAS amendment. This includes how shipping lines will treat Verified Gross Mass (VGM) from forwarders acting as carriers, how VGM is to be transmitted to carriers, what tolerance level governments will allow, and which certification programmes will be recognized as equivalent.

Nicolette van der Jagt Director General of CLECAT noted: ‘The SOLAS amendment presents logistical challenges and we are unconvinced that all parties are up to speed for implementation.’ She continued: ‘IMO has urged stakeholders to come to practical agreements for implementing the requirements, and therefore we are pleased to provide some further recommendations to our own members, but also to governments and other parties in the chain.’

In December 2014, industry guidance was issued by CLECAT, CEFIC, the ESC and the GSF. There were however outstanding questions which were not addressed in the paper, for example how the SOLAS amendment will affect freight forwarders when they are acting as carrier towards the shipper. The implementation date is fast approaching and there is a pressing need to resolve these points. Indeed, for transshipment container traffic which will have begun moving prior to the deadline, compliance will be required ahead of 1 July, thus only further increasing the need for immediate action.

CLECAT guidelines on Container Weighing are available here.