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International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea Container Weight Verification Requirement


The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Container Weight Verification Requirement will take effect July 1, 2016.


This new requirement requires shippers to verify the gross mass of a container carrying cargo and provide it to the ocean carrier and terminal operator. Without a verified gross mass (VGM), the packed container shall not be loaded aboard a ship. For clarification, the shipper is the legal entity or person named on the Bill of Lading.


The requirement provides 2 methods for the shipper to determine the VGM of the container:


Method 1:   Upon the conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged that a third party weigh, the packed container.


Method 2:   The shipper or, by arrangement of the shipper, a third party may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the container’s contents.


Find our VGM forms on our website www.tropical.com, Shipping Guidelines, Forms, SOLAS:  www.tropical.com/External/en/ShippingGuidelines/Forms


In the SOLAS section you will find the following:  1) Shipper’s Letter of Instruction which includes a VGM Certification statement, and 2) the Shipper’s VGM Certification form in which shippers provide Tropical with the VGM of your shipments.


For additional Information on this new regulation, please visit the following web site:  






Tropical Shipping values the close relationships we have built with our customers throughout our more than 50-year history. Thank you for choosing us as your carrier of choice. For further information, please contact your local sales representative or the U.S. Customer Service Team at 561-881-3999.


Complete contact listings, including telephone and fax numbers and email address information can be found 24/7/365 on our website on the Bookings and Customer Service page – found in the Contact area of our website, www.tropical.com.


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