Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: Shipments may be resold en route. Most frequent is reselling goods whilst on the water. Less frequent is for goods to be resold prior to loading on board the first vessel, but it can happen. How would both of these scenarios need to be handled in respect to VGM?

A: In the first scenario, the container must in order to have been loaded onto the ship in the first place have had a VGM obtained and provided by the original shipper. The fact that the goods are subsequently sold while on the water is immaterial for compliance with the SOLAS requirement.

In the second scenario, the same requirement applies – a VGM must be obtained and provided by “the shipper” in order for the packed container to be loaded aboard ship. “The shipper” should under the SOLAS VGM requirements be interpreted to mean the actual shipper. Therefore, if the goods are resold before they are loaded aboard ship and this sale results in a new actual shipper being identified in the maritime carrier’s bill of lading, then this new entity would be required to provide the VGM even if the previous shipper had already obtained a VGM. If the new shipper has confidence in the previous shipper, the new shipper can issue a VGM based on the previous shipper’s documentation.

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