Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: A container may be packed in one state and loaded at a port in another, or transhipped in yet another. Which standards will be applied by any enforcement officers?

A: Enforcement is the prerogative and competence of governments.

However, the revised regulation requires VGM to be obtained in accordance with the rules and requirements of the state where the packing and sealing of the container were completed and the weighing equipment is used (MSC.1/Circ.1475 paragraphs and 7.1). From a safety perspective, this should be prior to the packed container commencing its transit. A VGM validly obtained at that point will meet the purposes of the SOLAS requirements throughout the supply chain. It is recognized that weight may differ, apart from margins of error in the equipment used, by reason of cargo characteristics and atmospheric conditions. However, such variations should not present safety concerns.

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