Verified Gross Mass

The amended SOLAS regulation will enter into force from 1 July 2016. All the shipments loaded on a vessel of which the departure date is from 1 July 2016 shall have VGM prior to loading.

Q : What is the Verified Gross Mass?

The Verified Gross Mass is the total weight of a packed container. The VGM includes packing and securing materials such as pallets, wires and container tare weight. Therefore, the VGM is different from the current ‘gross cargo weight’ entered in the B/L.

Q : What is the application scope of  the VGM?

All packed containers shall have VGM prior to container loading on the vessel.
No provision or agreement may override or be in conflict with the obligation
to abide by the amended SOLAS regulation.

The new regulation will be enforced globally. To enhance the compliance
with the amended SOLAS regulation, governments may issue their own
regulations and guidelines.

★ Exceptions : For Break bulk cargo and empty container, VGM is not required

Q : When the SOLAS amendment becomes effective?

The amended SOLAS regulation will enter into force from 1 July 2016. All the shipments
loaded on a vessel of which the departure date is from 1 July 2016 shall have VGM prior to loading.

The implementation for the transshipment cargo loaded on the vessel prior to 1 July and transshipped after 1 July will be suspended for 3 month.

But all the cargo loaded on the first vessel after 1 July shall have VGM.

Q : Will the grace period be granted?

Although some news reported grace period, no official grace period is granted
by IMO. As per IMO’s recommendation to allow flexibility, it is reported that some ports are allowing grace period. It is recommended for the customers to check the relevant national regulation to avoid any unnecessary disadvantage.

Q : How the shipper may obtain the VGM?


 Q : How can the shipper obtain the container tare weight?

Basically, the shipper may refer to the tare weight printed on the door of the container or on carrier’s website.

The container tare weight provided indicates the one printed on the door of the container, as stated in IMO guideline MSC. 1/Circ. 1475, Article 12.1.

Q : Who is the responsible party to measure the VGM?

The shipper named on the ocean B/L is responsible for measuring the packed container’s VGM. The shipper may assign the 3rd party for measuring of VGM, but the party of final VGM submission and signature must be the shipper on the B/L.

Q : Who is the responsible for the VGM Submission?

Shipper of the bill of lading has to verify and provide VGM to carrier and/or port terminal representative prior to it being loaded onto a ship. For NVOCC of F/FWDR’s co-loading shipment, the “master” NVOCC/FWDR named on the ocean carrier’s B/L is the responsible party for the accurate cargo weight verification of all the cargo and all packing or securing material from all the co-loading forwarders using the container.

Q : Shall the carrier notify the difference of VGMs to the shipper / relevant authority?

Unless the national regulation obliges the carriers to report the difference of VGMs, there’s no duty for the carriers to report the difference to the relevant authority.

Q : As you are the owner of the equipment, can we transmit the cargo weight to you and allow you to add the container tare weight to determine the final VGM?

As the shipper has a responsibility for obtaining and documenting the verified gross weight of a packed container, carrier is not allowed to complete VGM by combining container tare weight on top of cargo weight. But in a different way, carrier provides  container tare weight information in easily accessible way through  website.

Q : What is the VGM cut off time?

As VGM cut-off time will vary from each country, terminal, lane, vessel and other factors, we are not able to set a cut-off time across the board. VGM cut off time information will be provided by at the time of booking along with the booking receipt notice. If the VGM cut off time is not specified in your booking receipt notice due to unfixed schedule or any other reasons, please contact our local organization for further guidance. .

Q : How may the shipper submit VGM to carrier?

Customers may submit VGM information at any convenient way, via Website, via EDI, via other web portal, or others. Carrier encourages shippers to provide the VGM information through efficient and convenient ‘electronic VGM submission channels’. Should there be a need, carrier can also cater for ‘Manual or paper document-based submissions’ but it takes longer time for the process and may cause documentation error.

VGM submission by phone, voice mail or other verbal means is not acceptable.

  • Carrier’s website _ Login is required for VGM submission
  • S/I EDI with VGM (IFTMIN / 304)
  • Using the excel template “Simple VGM”

Q : Shall the ‘Cargo Weight’ be submitted as currently it is?

The VGM does not substitute the cargo weight. The cargo weight currently displayed on B/L shall be submitted to carriers for the customs and other commercial purposes as it is.

Q : Will the VGM be shown on the bill of lading?

The purpose of VGM is to secure the safe transportation of containers. Therefore VGM is for operational purpose and does not need to be shown on the bill of lading. Carrier will not display VGM on the bill of lading.

Q : What should be included to the VGM submission?

  • Booking number / Container number
  • Methods of weighing (Method1/Method2)
  • Verified Gross Mass (VGM) with unit(KGS / LBS)
  • Signature of the shipper or duly authorized person by the shipper
  • Additional information and/or documents required by relevant state authorities, if any

Q : How the shipper can transmit the signature to Carrier?

Carrier requires the name of the duly authorized person in “CAPITAL LETTERS” in the signature field of any submission methods such as EDI, web site, email, etc.

Q : Will the amendment of VGM be acceptable?

VGM amendment is allowed before VGM cut off time.

Q : Is there any tolerance threshold globally applied?

There is no tolerance threshold set by IMO and carrier does not set any tolerance threshold either. But there are IMO member states that prescribe the tolerance threshold in their own national law and the tolerance level varies by the regulations. Shippers are recommended to check and meet the national regulation for the tolerance level and other VGM related requirements.

Q : What is the consequence of the failure to provide VGM?

  • If VGM is not provided to the carrier in time, the container will not be loaded onto the ship, resulting in delays of cargo delivery and potential costs such as demurrage and/or detention charges.
  • If the terminal at the port of loading has implemented “No VGM, No Gate-in” policy, a container that arrives at the terminal without VGM will not be allowed to gate-in. In this case, additional costs such as truck move or waiting cost may occur to customer.
  • If inland containers arrives at the terminal without VGM, that containers will not be loaded onto the connecting ship or no gate-in situation will happen depending on terminal policy.

Q : Can we get any exemption from providing VGM’s?

Carrier is not in a position to exempt any customer from complying IMO SOLAS regulations since a failure to comply SOLAS regulation can cause serious impacts on carrier’s whole vessel operation and services and the customers will face more serious problem as a result. In addition, some countries inserted a penalty clause even to the shipper who does not comply the VGM requirement in their national law.

SOLAS VGM requirement has been introduced for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the ship, the safety of workers both aboard ships and ashore, the safety of cargo and overall safety at sea and all relevant parties are the beneficiary. Carrier will do the best to make the procedure clear and minimize the customer’s burden as in compliance with this regulation. 



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