Industry Issues

Container Weight FAQ

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Q: Mass information is provided already for bill of lading and customs declaration purposes; how does that information relate to what is now required under SOLAS?

A: The verified gross mass that is required under SOLAS relates to the packed container, including dunnage and securing, together with the tare mass of the container. VGM reflects the mass of the entirety of the consignment presented for loading on board a ship and is distinct from other trade mass values such as used for bills of lading (relating to contractual liability) or customs declarations (for tariff filing and customs duties). SOLAS requires the verified gross mass to ensure that the correct value is used for ship stowage planning purposes; this safety requirement necessarily differs from other values used in trade.

See also A25 (in relation to showing VGM on bills of lading)

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