The implementation of the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) container weighing rule is due to come into effect on 1 July 1 2016, yet there is still a lack of information on their application, which is causing terminal operators to request further clarity as a matter of urgency.
Private port federation FEPORT has called on national authorities to develop guidelines that protect the efficiency of the logistics chain and do not create competitive distortions between Member States.
Jasper Nagtegaal, Chairman of the Customs and Logistics Committee, said: “From July 1, 2016, all containers to be loaded on a vessel will need to be accompanied by a verified gross mass (VGM). As of now, industry actors have released guidelines on the implementation of SOLAS requirement, but guidance from national authorities is still absent in many cases.
“A lack of national guidelines will ultimately lead to confusion in implementation and will have an adverse impact on operations and lead to possible competitive distortion.”
FEPORT strongly encourages Member States, if not already done so, to draft guidelines which adopt a pragmatic approach and do not lead to competition distortion between Member States.
FEPORT and its members are ready to cooperate with Member States and with the other actors in the logistics chain to elaborate national guidelines which are commonly accepted and implementable.
There are currently two methods available for weighing containers: the first would involve weighing a container and its contents together, while the second would see the contents and the gross mass of a container weighed separately.
Watch a video interview with Simon Everett, Managing Director of STrainstall, where he discusses the reasons for the implementation of the new container weighing rules.