SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement

SOLAS container weight verification requirements


The new procedures for SOLAS, Safety For Life At Sea, will be introduced by Australian Ports from Wednesday 22nd June, 2016, as advised in our previous Newsletters.

To reiterate the new requirements for all export shipments are as follows:

All weight of export cargo moved by sea MUST now be declared by the exporter before cargo is lodged at an export LCL deport or at a terminal for FCL shipments.

There are two (2) methods of weighing cargo that are acceptable:

  1. Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified equipment.
  2. Weighing of all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in a container and adding the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the State in which the packing of the container was completed.  

The shipper of a container shall ensure the verified gross mass is stated in the shipping document, this document needs to be:

  1. Signed by a person duly authorised by the shipper
  2. Submitted to the shipping line prior to delivery of container to the export port.

Operationally, GPSM will require a declaration to be signed by every shipper for every export shipment, this must be kept on file in our office for inspection by authorities if required.
We shall forward the declaration form to you and same can be submitted to GPSM by e-mail or fax, or attached to our on-line SLI form when you submit your booking.

Please note that if a weight certificate is not presented to the shipping line prior to port delivery, the container will not be loaded on the vessel.

We understand that many exporters may not have calibrated and certified weighing equipment on site, and in these cases the loaded container will need to be taken to a certified weighing facility prior to delivery to the port. The container will need to be lifted from the truck, weighed and re-loaded for re-delivery to the port.

Naturally additional costs will be involved and we estimate that a cost of approximately $ 300.00 per container may eventuate.

This is similar to the import procedure when an AQIS tailgate inspection is required and costs will be dependent on the weighing facility location and waiting time spent at the facility.

In the case of LCL shipments, a weight declaration will be required by the exporter at time of booking, the actual container weighing requirements will be handled by the cargo consolidator. Each consolidator will charge a fee per shipment for completing the SOLAS weight requirements.

To date it is unknown what action the terminals will take when a container arrives for export and the weight does not match the terminal’s measurements, even if the discrepancy is a matter of KG’S. We have made numerous enquiries and no one seems to be able to answer this question.

We shall be forwarding a copy of the declaration form to you under separate cover, please ensure your staff involved in export shipments are fully aware of these new legal requirements.

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