The amendment to SOLAS Chapter VI, Regulation 2 regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo (packed container) was adopted at the 94th MSC session in November 2014 for entry into force globally on 1 July 2016.
This amendment requires mandatory verification of the gross mass of a container prior to loading on the vessels to which SOLAS Chapter VI applies. Although some exemptions are included (for roll-on/roll-off vessels amongst others), the vast majority of containers loaded for export will fall under this new regulation.
"Guidelines on the Verification of Gross Mass of a Container with Cargo Packed in Hong Kong" has been published.
The regulation provides 2 methods for verification of gross mass of a packed container.
Upon the conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may arrange weighing of the packed container by using a weighing scale approved by Marine Department. The Master or his representative and the terminal operator shall be provided with the verified container’s gross mass figure used in the ship stowage plan sufficiently in advance, in accordance with arrangements agreed among the carrier, shipper and terminal operator. For a container weighed by the approved weighing scale, the shipper requires to have a weighing document showing the weighing scale’s authorization number, the name of weighing scale operator, the date of weighing, the container number and the seal number with signature of the weighing scale operating staff and company stamp. The sample of weighing document is available here.
Please click here for the list of approved weighing scales.
For any local weighing scale operator who is interested in getting the authorization, please click here for the procedures of application. The application is free of charge. The approved weighing scale operator has to schedule an annual calibration within 12 months of the previous calibration. The calibration proof shall be issued by Registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical or Marine and Naval Architecture discipline).
The shipper may weigh all the package and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single mass using a method certified by Marine Department. In other words, the shipper opting for method 2 shall submit the application of registration before employing this method for gross mass verification.
The shipper shall declare the verified gross mass obtained in the shipping document by quoting the registration number and submitted to the carrier and the terminal via carrier sufficiently in advance.
Please click here for the application form of shipper’s registration.
If the application is successful, the company name of the applicant, contact details and registration number will be published in the Marine Department’s webpage. The entire application, registration, web publication and the compliance audit are free of charge. Any fraudulent or concealed reporting with intention to obtain registration is an offence. Marine Department will initiate prosecution and revoke the registration once confirmed.
Marine Department has published guidance on how the gross mass of a packed container can be obtained by using method 2. Please click here to download the guidance.
For illustrative purposes only, samples of procedures of container mass verification and container mass calculation sheet are available here. Users should, basing on their own circumstances, compile their own.
Regardless of which method applies, the shipper has to make a shipper’s declaration after obtaining the verified gross mass. The sample of container mass declaration is available here.
website : http://www.mardep.gov.hk/hk/pub_services/ocean/miss_vgm.html