SOLAS VGM… Are You Ready?

 In Industry Insider, Trans-Border Global Freight Systems, Inc.

New Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Regulation Ready For Global Enforcement on July 1!

As mentioned in our last bulletin on March 31, 2016, signatories to this regulation have shown no backing down on this new shipping practice. Plenty of discussions between governments, ports and shipping lines have taken place to determine how practical this new policy would be to enforce. As of now, it is full steam ahead and the regulation will come into effect July 1.

What do I need to do to prepare?
There are two approved methods in which you can weigh your goods (ocean freight only). For more information on those two methods, please click here. In short:

• Method 1: You are authorizing Trans-Border to determine the VGM (when we are handling the shipment).

• Method 2: You are self-determining the VGM.If you are moving LCL cargo with Trans-Border, we simply need the weight of the shipment.

How do I report the VGM?
There are two options for you to report the VGM.  You can submit this directly to the steamship lines yourself utilizing one of their validated platforms.  This would need to be submitted prior to the VGM cutoff in order for the loaded container to be accepted by the terminal.

The other option is to have Trans-Border file on your behalf. Trans-Border has updated the Shipper’s Letter of Instructions with the addition of a VGM field (box 31).  The instruction sheet (to help complete the form) has also been updated to provide an overview of the field.  Both updated documents are available on our website for downloading. In addition, Trans-Border’s Ocean Export Department will send out the SLI and instructions to clients (if need be) when a new shipment is booked.

What if I cannot provide the VGM?
The VGM ruling is a non-negotiable rule, meaning all shippers must ensure the information is provided to Trans-Border. Please keep in mind that the reported VGM on the SLI will be considered true and correct, as this information will be relayed to the steamship line.

In addition, if the VGM is not provided to Trans-Border in a timely manner, it will result in the container being refused at the terminal. This will lead to unnecessary charges and delays.

How about imports to the US? Does this rule still apply?
The VGM ruling applies regardless of whether the goods are exported/imported to/from the US. US importers should discuss with their overseas suppliers that they have the necessary protocols in place to determine the VGM.

I need some help! Who do I talk to?
Don’t worry, Trans-Border fully understands that adhering to these requirements may take some time which is why we want to update the shipping community of this fast approaching date.

We strongly urge that internal measures are put in place so come July 1, your shipments can move without any glitches.

As always, if you need any assistance, our Ocean Export Department are available to answer questions you may have. Contacts are as follows:

Brunilda Carroll – Ocean Export Manager
Allison Burak – Customer Service & Project Manager