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Solas Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification Update

The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (“OCEMA”) amended its Recommended Best Practice for the Acceptance and Transmission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM) to include a Terminal Weighing Approach (TWA). The TWA contemplates that marine terminals will provide gross container weights directly to ocean carrier stowage planners as VGM on behalf of shippers.

What this Means: Vessel Operators have finally agreed that the existing practice, whereby the marine terminals weigh containers prior to loading, is sufficient compliance for purposes of the VGM rule. Many Carriers have indicated they will now accept the weight provided by the terminals in lieu of receiving anything from shippers or NVOCCs with respect to traffic moving to the terminals by truck. With respect to containers moving by rail to the port of lading, most carriers have agreed to provide tare weights of the containers to be added to the weights reported by the shippers and NVOCC’s, and that would again constitute sufficient compliance with the VGM amendment.

MIQ Amended Procedures: MIQ will no longer require the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Certification distributed in June. Instead, MIQ requests that our client shippers either (a) use the revised MIQ Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI) or, should the client shipper prefer to use its own form(s), (b) sign and return the MIQ Amended Terms and Conditions acknowledging that (i) MIQ is entitled to rely on the accuracy of weights provided by the shipper and (ii) agreeing to indemnify and hold MIQ harmless from any and all claims, all claims, losses, penalties or other costs resulting from any incorrect or questionable statements of the weight provided on which MIQ or its agent relies.

MIQ will continue to monitor the situation very carefully on a carrier by carrier basis. Please contact your MIQ Account Representative with your questions and concerns.