Customer Advisories and Announcements

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirements - FAQs

April 21, 2016

Dear Valued Customers:

As announced earlier, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted new regulations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) that require shippers to verify and provide each container's gross verified weight to the vessel master or his representative and to the terminal operator for every packed container as a condition for vessel loading. These new requirements become effective on July 1, 2016.

Below are FAQs for our valued customers with regards to this new regulation.

Q. Definition of Verified Gross Mass (VGM)

Verified gross mass means the total gross mass of a packed container as obtained by either Method 1 or Method 2 described below.

Method 1 –The packed container is weighed after the end of the stuffing operation using calibrated and certified equipment.

Method 2 – For some uniform or packaged cargo, the known weight of cargo packages/ pallets, etc. and securing material is added to the tare mass of the container.

Q. Required information for carriers

Mandatory information to be provided by shippers:
1. Booking Number or BL Number
2. Container Number
3. VGM Weight 
4. VGM Authorizer Name
5. Unit of Measurement

Q. VGM submission channel

Below are preferable VGM methods for submission to K Line: 
1. EDI
2. 3rd Party Portal (INTTRA, GT Nexus, Cargo Smart) 
3. Web Entry

Q. VGM submission cut-off

VGM cut-off timing will be differed from terminal-to-terminal as implementation rules are different in each country and terminal.

Q. VGM priority when VGM received several times

Will use the last VGM received prior to the VGM submission cut-off as the final/accurate VGM.

Q. No VGM cargo

As carrier, "K" Line will not load any cargo without VGM on our vessels.

If terminal has "No VGM/No Gate-In" policy, then the cargo will not be allowed to enter the terminal gate. Even if it can enter the terminal gate, cargo will not be loaded onto a vessel without VGM in accordance with the basis of "No VGM/No Load."  Any additional cost due to no VGM will be at the expense of the shipper.

Q. Effective date of this regulation – Transhipment cargo & Inland cargo

VGM of all cargoes loading on our vessels after July 1 has to be provided to carrier.
Therefore, VGM information needs to be provided to carrier sufficiently in advance of vessel loading, especially for transhipment cargo and inland cargo.

Q. Weighing at the terminal

Depends on situation at each terminal.

Additional information: 
The World Shipping Council (WSC) and its member shipping companies have developed guidelines and FAQs (link below) to explain what the implementation of the regulations will require of shippers, vessel master or his representative and the terminal operator. 

(WSC Guideline)


If you need more assistance, please contact your local "K" Line office. We will be happy to provide further information and more details about this new regulation.