SOLAS mandatory weight verification – VGM Verified Gross Mass of Ocean Export Containers

The international treaty known as the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) affects all shipment by water effective July 1, 2016.

SOLAS requires the filing of a Verified Gross Mass or weight (VGM) as a condition of loading your cargo on board the vessel. No VGM on file. No movement of your cargo!

American Lamprecht Transport Inc. takes matters of compliance seriously and in order to assist with submission of the VGM to the Carriers, American Lamprecht Transport will require completion of a VGM certificate/statement from all shippers for all ocean freight shipments. We have made available to you this editable template. Please note that form must be downloaded to apply digital signature.

The Certification must be “signed”; meaning a specific person representing the shipper is named and identified as having verified the accuracy of the weight calculation on behalf of the shipper. The VGM should be submitted via email to your customer service representative at American Lamprecht Transport Inc.

To Whom Does this Rule Apply?
If your cargo is moving under a Direct Bill of Lading where you are shown as the shipper, then it is your responsibility, directly or indirectly through your forwarder, to file the VGM.
If your cargo is moving under a House Bill of Lading, then you must provide the VGM to your Forwarder/NVOCC who will in turn file a back-to-back VGM on the shipment.

What is VGM and how do I get it?
The VGM is the total weight of the cargo in the container along with its pallets and bracing plus the tare or empty weight of the container. The tare weight of the container is printed on the door of the container along with the container number. It is good practice to provide your forwarder or carrier with a photograph of that labeling on the container along with your commercial invoice and packing list.
If you know the weight of the cargo that you have loaded into the container, you can use that to calculate the VGM. If you do not, you will need to weigh the loaded container.

By when do I have to file the VGM?
The VGM should be filed with the carrier before your shipment is delivered to the carrier’s terminal. This means that whoever is packing the container must expedite delivery of the gross weight and the tare weight. Note of caution: Some terminals have already adopted a NO IN GATE policy and will NOT accept the cargo if the VGM is not already on file, which means that your cargo will be rejected.
Whilst OCEMA BEST PRACTICES release has advised that the VGM cutoff is likely to be approximately ½ working day prior to the vessel cutoff in the case of a NO VGM, NO LOAD policy, it currently appears that some terminals in the USA & Canada will implement a “NO VGM, NO IN-GATE POLICY”, meaning the VGM will need to be submitted before the container can be in-gated at the terminal.

What happens if I do not have reliable information about the Gross Weight of cargo?
If you are shipping less than a container load, the consolidator will NOT weigh the cargo. Consolidators can weigh the freight by request at additional cost.
If you are shipping projects, personal, or household goods, then the VGM will have to be determined by weighing the loaded container, which can cause delays and will carry extra charges.

Accuracy of Weights
By booking and tendering cargo, you authorize us to sign and deliver VGMs to the carrier on your behalf.

As an NVO or Forwarder we have the right to rely upon the shipment details you provide. As a shipper, by tendering cargo, you warrant the accuracy of the details of the shipment you tender along with all other information and agree to indemnify and hold us harmless from any damages or penalties resulting from inaccuracies