SOLAS / IMO Guidance Document

RONCO VGM Requirement and Procedure

Pilot Transition Process June 1st 2016

July 1, 2016 is the date for mandatory implementation of the new SOLAS / IMO Regulation, requiring shippers to provide the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each packed container to the Ocean Carrier and Marine Terminal for use in their stowage plans prior to it being loaded aboard the vessel.


The following is an update of our Pilot Transition of the formalized VGM process on June 1st for your advanced guidance and readiness:

Weighing To Assess Verified Gross Mass (Weight)

As a reminder there are two methods for weighing the cargo to determine the VGM (the sum of all masses).

Either Method used for weighing is subject to the Calibration and Measurement Certification Standards of the State Governing Authority.

  1. Weighing the Whole Container after it has been packed including the TARE weight of the container (the TARE weight is identified on the door/side of each container)

    Note: For cargo items that do not easily lend to individual weighing of the items to be packed in the container e.g., portable tanks, flexi-tanks, scrap metals, un-bagged grain and other cargo in bulk are an example of cargo items where Method 1 would be the most suitable application.

  2. Weighing / Calculating all the Cargo and Contents individually and adding those weights to the TARE weight of the container (the TARE weight is identified on the door and side of each container).

    Note (1): The Sum of All Masses in Method 2 = (the Sum of All Single Masses of Cargo Items + All Packing /Packages + Pallets and/or Dunnage + Securing Material i.e. Blocking and Bracing) = Verified Gross Mass.

    Note (2): Estimated Weights are NOT permitted and is a violation of SOLAS regulations.

    Note (3) A Container with a Gross Mass exceeding its Maximum Permitted Payload as indicated on the Safety Approval Plate under the Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) will NOT be loaded aboard a vessel even with the proper VGM Documentation

VGM Submission

VGM Procedure

  • VGM Requirement applies to all ships anywhere in the world
  • All Loaded containers on Board such ships must have a VGM
  • State Governing Authority is responsible for Enforcement & Compliance
  • Regulatory Authority Enforcement of the VGM will be focused on the Shipper
  • State Governing Authority Enforcement Actions will be in response to:
    • Complaints / advice from terminals re suspect VGM
    • Container will be detained and require re-weighing of the suspect VGM
    • R A Inspectors to randomly check on container VGM per existing process
    • R A inspectors have authority to impose monetary penalties for non-compliance
  • Marine terminals require Shipper VGM - electronic transmission by Ocean Carrier
  • Ocean Carriers adhering to a "NO VGM – NO LOAD" policy
  • Ocean Carriers and Marine Terminals will NOT Load container without a VGM
  • VGM Cut – Off Times will vary by Ocean Carrier and Marine Terminal
  • VGM Cut – Off times will be communicated at time of booking
  • Shippers must retain Archival record of each container VGM

Profile of Information for VGM Submission

  • Booking / Bill of Lading Number
  • Container Number
  • VGM (container, contents, packing, securing material + TARE weight of the container = Sum of All Masses)
  • Unit of measurement - KGS or LBS
  • Actual Shipper / Duly Authorized Persons Signature (in CAPITAL LETTERS)
  • Responsible Party Name
  • Date of Declaration
  • Method of Weighing – 1 (Weigh Scaled) or 2 (Calculated)
  • Any additional Mandatory or Optional information requested by Local Authorities

Consequences for Failure to Meet VGM Requirements

  • Stevedoring and /or Transport costs associated to the exception handling of the container involved
  • Inspection and/or survey costs/ Storage Fees and/or Container Demurrage
  • Weighing Costs if the Carrier/Terminal Weighs
  • Stuffing/de-stuffing or any additional steps required to obtain the VGM
  • Penalties and/or administrative charges & any additional costs that may be incurred
  • Removing the container from the vessel if the VGM is found to be incorrect
  • Shipment delays and impact on the supply chain
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