IMO Senior Deputy Director for Marine Technology and Cargoes, Maritime Safety Division, Joseph Westwood-Booth, recently told an audience at the ICHCA conference in Barcelona that he wanted to make it “perfectly clear” that there would be “no delays” to the SOLAS amendment on container weighing.
The beginning of March, 2016 has brought significant ambiguity to the container weighing debate, with US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Thomas telling the TPM Conference that he believes the impending SOLAS guidelines on container weight verification “are not mandatory”.
Following this, the Global Consolidators Working Group wrote a letter to the IMO stating that the container weighing rule is “too vague” to implement.
Watch this space as the debate will certainly deepen as the date for implementation gets ever closer and the implications for cargo surveyors become clearer.
Technical Paper: Container Weighing Explained
As the regulations that are due to be implemented stand, shippers bear responsibility to ensure a container is weighed correctly and can do this via two methods: weighing the contents and then the container to get a total weight, or by weighing the container with the contents already packed.
At present, the most practical option looks to be weighing containers in ports as part of a service, there are several ways in which this can be done: weighbridges is one option, as is implanting weighing technology on various pieces of port equipment, yet the finer details are still to be figured out despite the implementation date drawing ever near.