Available Now: 2023 Schedule of Hazmat & RCRA Training

Coast Guard Declares Equivalency With SOLAS Container Weight Rules

Posted on 5/4/2016 by Roger Marks

Last year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations to require that vessel shippers verify container gross mass for all vessel shipments before they can be loaded onto a ship.

This new SOLAS rule will apply to hazmat vessel shipments shipped under the IMDG Code, but will also apply to all other types of vessel shipments.

The new requirements take effect July 1, 2016.

How to Measure Verified Gross Mass (VGM)

There are two permissible methods for weighing a container before it can be loaded onto a ship:
  • Method 1 requires weight the container after it has been packed.
  • Method 2 requires adding the weight of the cargo, pallets, dunnage, etc. to the tare weight or of the container. Tare weight is indicated on the door end of the container.

In the US, the agency in charge of implementing the SOLAS requirements is the United States Coast Guard. On April 28, the USCG declared an equivalency to the SOLAS container weight regulation (SOLAS VI/2). 

SOLAS container weight rule for verified gross mass or VGMThe declaration of equivalency means that the current US rules for verifying container weights and providing information to ship masters are equivalent to the new SOLAS requirements that take effect globally this summer. That means any equipment being used to comply with Federal or State laws for determining verified gross mass (VGM) is acceptable for the purpose of complying with the “new” SOLAS requirement.

Acceptable methods for providing verified gross mass (VGM) of a container before it is loaded onto a ship include:
  1. The terminal weighs the container, when duly authorized, verifies the VGM on behalf of the shipper.
  2. The shipper and carrier reach agreement whereby the shipper verifies the weight of the cargo, dunnage, and other securing materials, and the container’s tare weight is provided and verified by the carrier.
While the SOLAS rules require the VGM to be certified and signed off by the shipper, the equivalency will give US vessel shippers, freight forwarders, and carriers flexibility to work together to satisfy the container weight requirements. 

Keep Your Hazmat Vessel Shipments in Compliance

Keep your hazmat shipments above board with expert training when the Complete Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Workshops come to your city! Learn the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG Code requirements for hazmat ground, air, and ocean and build a step-by-step approach to keep your shipments in compliance. Don’t let new and changing hazmat rules sink your company’s compliance record, view the schedule and sign up now!

Tags: hazmat, IMDG, new rules, shipping

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Very well structured, comprehensive, and comparable to live training seminars I've participated in previously. I will recommend the online course to other colleagues with training requirement needs.

Neil Luciano

EHS Manager

My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.

Robert Roose

Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation

One of the best trainings I have ever received!

Brandon Morfin

EH&S Manager

Course instructor was better prepared and presented better than other trainers. Course manual and references were easier to use as well.

Marty Brownfield

Hazardous Waste Professional

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion does a great job summarizing and communicating complicated EH&S-related regulations.

Michele Irmen

Sr. Environmental Engineer

If I need thorough training or updating, I always use Lion. Lion is always the best in both instruction and materials.

Bryce Parker

EHS Manager

Lion courses always set the bar for content, reference, and practical application. Membership and access to the experts is an added bonus.

John Brown, CSP

Director of Safety & Env Affairs

The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.

Jeffrey Tierno

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor was energetic and made learning fun compared to dry instructors from other training providers.

Andy D’Amato

International Trade Compliance Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

This report answers two common questions concerning the hazardous waste manifest: "Is training required for person who sign the manifest?" and "If so, what training is required?"

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.