Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: If the shipper communicates the verified gross mass as required by this regulation, is there then an obligation under either Method 1 or Method 2 on the carrier (or terminal operator) to check the value given for that gross mass and report to the authorities any discrepancy that may be found?

A: As an International issue, the requirements are for the carrier and the terminal to ensure that the verified gross mass has as a condition for ship loading been communicated sufficiently in time to be used in the ship stow planning process. There is no legal obligation to check the value so communicated. There is no requirement for the verified gross mass to be notified to governmental authorities.

As a Commercial issue, the objective of the SOLAS amendments is to ensure that the carrier and terminal operator have available as a condition for ship loading an accurate gross mass of each packed container. Shippers should develop effective procedures in conformance with the SOLAS requirements to obtain such information with that objective in mind. There is no requirement that the carrier or terminal operator weigh a packed container for which the shipper has already provided the verified gross mass.

If, however, the packed container is weighed, for whatever reason, and the gross mass is different from that provided by the shipper by an amount deemed to be material, then the carrier and terminal operator will need to have a process for determining which value to use.

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