SOLAS Impact on Export Process Procedure

As we approach the July 1st implementation date for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention Amendments, Shapiro wants to remind our valued export customers of the upcoming changes to the export process, particularly in regards to the determination of the Verified Gross Mass, or VGM. On July 1st, the VGM will need to be provided to the carriers and terminals at the port of export – without the VGM terminals can decide to reject containers, leading to costly delays.

Shapiro is working to give you the greatest amount of flexibility when it comes to complying with the VGM requirements set out in SOLAS; therefore, we have provided three methods for you to supply us with the VGM for transmission. For clients on our Shapiro 360̊ web platform, you can quickly and easily upload the VGM to our system via the Shapiro 360̊ portal. Clients without access to Shapiro 360̊ web platform can send the VGM manually either as part of the initial booking confirmation document or via email to your Shapiro export team for upload.

Clients can request access to Shapiro 360̊ for uploading VGM, tracking shipments, and running logistics reports by contacting their Shapiro export team.

For all upload methods, the below information will be required in order for Shapiro to transmit the VGM:

  • Reference Booking # and Container #
  • VGM weight in KGS or LBS
  • Date of Declaration
  • Full Name of Authorized Person

Click here to enlarge!

Verified Gross Mandate_ VGM_Infographic

If you are still working to determine a method of verifying the gross mass, consider contacting your Shapiro export team for assistance. We have built partnerships with local weighing facilities across the country and can work with you to develop an easy and affordable means of complying with these new regulations.

The cutoffs for VGM transmission are as important as the transmission itself. While there has been no standardized approach to VGM transmission cutoffs by carriers and terminals, Shapiro’s export team is actively following terminal cutoffs to ensure that you are informed of the dates relevant to your shipments. These dates and times will be visible within the 360̊ portal and will be included on the Shapiro booking confirmation.

Please note these changes in regulation require the actual Shipper to provide verified weights obtained on calibrated, certified equipment of all cargo that is to be tendered to steamship lines.

In addition, the Shipper agrees that Shapiro is required to rely on the accuracy of such weights and to counter-sign or endorse it as our own certified weight to the steamship line carrying the cargo. The Shipper and any other party acting on behalf of Shipper agree that they shall indemnify and hold Shapiro harmless from any and all claims, losses, penalties or other costs resulting from any incorrect or questionable verification of the weight provided by Shipper or its agent or contractor on which the Carrier relies.

If you have any additional questions regarding the SOLAS amendments, please contact your Shapiro export team or review this overview on the changes and VGM from the IMO: www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Safety/Cargoes/Containers/Pages/Verification-of-the-gross-mass.aspx

Don’t forget to check out our infograph on the VGM confusion below and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!