SOLAS Convention Requirement for the Verification of Container Weights

February 10th, 2016

Bolloré Logistics wishes to inform you that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has decided to strengthen controls on the verification of container weights prior to loading onto vessels. These new requirements will apply to all exporting countries.

As a result of major incidents or accidents caused by overweight containers, an amendment to the Safety of Life At Sea Convention (SOLAS) will become legally effective on July 1, 2016.
Although the exact terms and conditions have yet to be determined, we wish to draw your attention to the main elements of this amendment, which places the SHIPPER at the center of the security procedure.

The Shipper is responsible for reporting, systematically and without fail, the exact weight (referred to as the Verified Gross Mass) of the container(s) before entering the port terminal.
Subject to the definition of Shipper which will be permanently adopted, the Shipper is understood at this stage as the party identified as the Shipper on the bill of lading.

The Verified Gross Mass (VGM) shall be obtained according to one of two methods authorized by this amendment:
        1. The shipper (or a designated third party) weighs the container with an approved device after it has been stuffed and sealed;
        2. The shipper (or a designated third party) weighs each item to be stuffed in the container (goods, pallets, packaging and fixing materials, and other elements and materials intended for the securing of goods), adding to the sum of these weights the container’s tare weight as indicated on the door end of the container.


​IMPORTANT: Without written communication from the shipper of the Verified Gross Mass associated with the number(s) of the container(s), the shipping company will refuse to load the container(s) onto the vessel.


Bolloré Logistics has been working on this issue for several months in close cooperation with the various actors in the sector, and particularly with shipping companies.

Your regular contacts will report back to you as soon as we become aware of additional components ratified by the decision-makers involved.

We remain at your disposal for any additional information which you might require.

We thank you for your attention to this matter and for your continued confidence in our company.

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