Kestrel Liner Agencies Ltd SOLAS Customer Advisory May, 2016
5 years ago
Dear Valued Customers,
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is a mandatory amendment adopted by the International Maritime Organization governing maritime safety.
What this means for you:
Starting July 1st 2016 SOLAS will require the shipper of a packed container, regardless of who packed the container, to verify and provide the container’s gross verified weight (Verified Gross Mass) to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative prior to loading on the ocean vessel. There are two approved methods for the calculation of VGM
LCL and Exclusive Consolidation Services:
- As Kestrel are responsible for declaring VGM of a consolidated container to Master Carrier, as Shipper we will be using a combination of both method 1 and Method 2 for declaration in a timely manner to the carriers.
- There will be associated costs involved for this operation, pricing for UK LCL and consolidation services will be finalized in the coming weeks.
- As Kestrel will not physically load the containers, the responsibility for VGM declaration will be the Shipper or Shippers representative.
- This must be provided before the VGM cut off at designated UK & European terminal locations. SOLAS VGM Declaration form can be printed from our website, please visit WWW.Kestrel-Liner.Com . You will also receive a SOLAS declaration form at time of booking confirmation receipt
- Kestrel can arrange to have an FCL container weighed on the shipper’s behalf; we will then report VGM to Master Carrier. This must be requested at the time of booking and only applicable to containers where drayage is performed through Kestrel Liner Agencies Ltd.
- Pricing for FCL VGM services will be finalized in the coming weeks.
- Additionally, Weight Tickets, Waiting Time, Additional Stop and any other out of pocket expenses related to VGM service will be for Shippers Account.
Whats Next - Data Elements Required:
- Kestrel Booking Number - Container Number – Seal Number – Port of Load - Final Destination – VGM – Method - -Authorized Signatory
Globally there is currently no single standard of how SOLAS/VGM will be enforced or regulated. The above represents an outline of how shipments originating in the UK & Europe will be handled and are subject to change. Our teams are working with the master carriers and terminals for solutions that best fit local processes, and further updates will be forthcoming as SOLAS implementation date draws nearer.
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency were asked:
Will MCGA be operating a very strict policy of prosecution for any breach of the above? i.e. if the weight of a container loaded onto a ship is found to be discrepant form the VGM? Or will there be a tolerance over and boe the -/+ 5% allowed?
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency replied:
Breaches of the Merchant Shipping Act are considered on a case by case basis. Appointed inspectors are able to exercise enforcement measures before prosecution (i.e. ship detention, prohibition or enforced improvement). Serious breaches will be fully investigated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Enforcement Unit, and prosecution may follow. Our Enforcement policy statement can be found here: