The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement becoming effective on July 1

In order to accomplish the SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement (Safety of Life at Sea Convention), we would like to inform our clients that from the 1st of July 2016 it will be mandatory the verification of the gross mass of loaded  containers before they are shipped. The SOLAS requirement for weighing containers is an international regulation thus any container with no Verified Gross Mass (VGM) information will not be loaded.


The shipper is responsible for the proper weight verification of every loaded container. This VGM information then has to be provided to the shipping line with enough time to allow the right procedures for the ship loading plan.

*Shipper means a legal entity or person named on the Bill of Lading or Sea Waybill or equivalent multimodal transport document (e.g. “through” bill of lading, Sea waybill) as shipper and/or who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contract of carriage has been concluded with a shipping company.

The SOLAS convention notes the following two methods that can be done before or after receiving the load at the port terminal:

  1. By weight (Maritime terminal or a third party): Once the container is completely loaded, it has to be weighed on its own or along with the truck transporting it, in which case the tare, trailer and fuel weight would be subtracted.
  2. By calculation (Shipper): Weighing all packages and cargo items including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material and adding the tare mass of the container. This requires an approved certified method (a calibrated scale) according to the ISO 9001 standard or its equivalent which includes control procedures to meet national certification and calibration requirements.

We as Smart Logistics, can provide a weighing service in case shippers do not have access to a proper calibrated scale meeting the requirements of weight verification method 2. This weighing service will take place within maritime terminals or with a port community agent. The fees will vary depending on the port of departure and maritime terminals. In this case a weighing certificate would be sent to the shipper who will need to keep it until the shipment has arrived to its final destination.

Please feel free to contact us for any further details.