Industry calls for clarification of box weight rules on national level

THERE is still confusion among terminal operators and shippers on how individual countries will enforce the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules, effective July 1, that require shippers to provide the verified gross mass (VGM) of containers before loading.

The Brussels-based Federation of European Private Port Operators (FEPORT) said there is still a need for “clarity on implementation” of SOLAS container weighing rules “at national levels,” reported American Shipper.

According to FEPORT there is “still a lack of information and harmonisation at national level regarding their implementation,” saying there is a need for “national authorities to develop guidelines that protect the efficiency of the logistics chain and do not create competitive distortions between member states.”

Said FEPORT customs and logistics chief Jasper Nagtegaal: “A lack of national guidelines will ultimately lead to confusion in implementation and will have an adverse impact on operations.”

US Coast Guard spokeswoman Sarah Janaro said that verified gross mass regulations are “still under review” as well as “how we are implementing them”.

Agriculture Transportation Committee and Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement weight chairwoman Donna Lemm said shippers remain concerned about the implementation of the regulation because it may create an administrative burden and more congestion.

“We are appealing to the ocean carrier community to work with us as stakeholders for common sense best practices,” she said, noting Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has published a document, “Guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo.”