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SOLAS Update

The Safety of Life at Sea requirement to have a verified gross mass (VGM) weight for each container being placed on a ship went into effect on July 1.

(Please visit our Transportation webpage for more information including U.S. Coast Guard statements and FAQs.) 

Earlier this year when this issue splashed onto the radar of the shipping community, ISRI raised the industry’s concerns with important Members of Congress who in turn requested clarification and assurances from the U.S. Coast Guard both in hearings and in letters to the Federal Maritime Commission urging them to ensure that no slowdowns or hiccups occurred as the July 1 deadline approached. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) released further statements providing more clarification and urging carriers to be “flexible” for the first three months as the kinks are worked out of the system. Accordingly, many problems may have been avoided by this temporary flexibility but that may simply result in many of the problems occurring as the carriers begin more stringent enforcement of SOLAS’ VGM requirements. 

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