- Update for Customer Information Required for Container Weight Verification VGM/ Solas Amendment
June 28, 2016
Dear Valued Customer,
The IMO Solas amendment on Container Weight Verification will become effective on July 1, 2016. You can find the full reading of the amendment via various websites. If you do not have access to such information please contact the sales person from COSCO that calls on your company for additional details. Or you can visit our web sites: COSCO-USA.COM or COSCON.COM
As stated in our first message of June 16, 2016 concerning the possibility of the Marine Terminal weighting option, we are happy to report this has been finalized as an approved weighing method.
Any cost associated with this method will be for the shipper of records account.
COSCO will be amending our Tariff to reflect this enhancement within the next few days. In this tariff filing it will reflect the following: If no VGM has been sent in advance of an export container being returned to a marine terminal it shall be deemed the shipper has authorized COSCO to obtain weight of the loaded container on the shipper’s behalf from the weight obtained by the Marine Terminal upon entry into such terminal. If the shipper intends to send VGM via one of the other agreed methods COSCO will accept and use that weight as the VGM. Any cost associated with this method will be for the shipper of record account.
There are Marine Terminals still intending to collect a cost for every container VGM that is accepted this way. We are still working with those terminals to have these cost eliminated.
If the shipper intends to send VGM via one of the other agreed methods COSCO will accept and use that weight as the VGM.
The above option is only for cargo loading at U.S. Load ports. This does not include any of the Load ports in Canada. For Canada load ports you can only use methods 1, 2, 3 or 4 below at this time.
We would also acknowledge the exceptional work of The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) for spearheading the SOLAS Amendment in the U.S. and working through the detailed process.
At COSCO we are taking this new requirement very serious as it is a matter of safety for all involved. No matter how and where you get Container Weight Certification, it is your responsibility, the shipper of record, to submit VGM information to COSCO before required date. Below we outline what the options are and what is required for some of these options to be used.
COSCO currently accepts the Container Weight Verification using the following 5 methods:
1: Vermas (EDI)
2: Electronic Shipping Instructions (E-SI) - Customers using EDI shipping instructions to submit their VGM will be required to submit their shipping instructions earlier than the standard documentation cutoff for terminals that requires VGM before gate in. For this reason, COSCO strongly recommends using VERMAS EDI to submit VGM’s.
3: Website of our company
4: In written form (Email) - This option will only be available during the initial implementation and will eventually be phased out. We encourage you to submit via one of the other 3 options
5: Scaled weight from Marine Terminal as described above. (only for U.S. Load Ports)
Methods 1 and 2 require an application to be completed to allow the EDI information to flow from Customer to COSCO. This is a process that requires at least 1 week to set up and test, so if this is the preferred method you want to use we encourage you to complete the application A.S.A.P. If you prefer this method please see the below application. Kindly complete and send to Shannon Collins at Scollins@cosco-usa.com or to your local sales person. If you are a customer that currently sends and receives data via EDI you will still need to complete the application and add the section SOLAS/VGM as part of the EDI package you have with COSCO.
If you are using a 3rd party company, such as INTTRA, you must still ensure there are EDI abilities between COSCO and INTTRA to cover the requirements. COSCO will accept the VIP Customer EDI Application form but there will be a cost associated with this method, payable before the export bill of lading is released.
Method #3 requires you to sign up on our website, www.COSCON.com as a certified user. If you already send booking requests through our online process you are already a certified user and must simply follow the procedures within COSCO VGM User Guide.
Method #4 you must ensure you send the email to the correct email address, not doing so will cause delays. For all ports in the U.S.A. and Canada with the exception of Long Beach the email address is VGM@cosco-usa.com. For all containers loading on a ship in Long Beach or Los Angeles you must send the VGM to LGBTraffic@cosco-usa.com. We will input this data for you at a cost of $10.00 per container. This cost is subject to change and is payable before the export bill of lading is released.
It is important for all customers to know that we intend to collect any costs associated with this new requirement. Those costs can be incurred from the above filing fees, from a Marine Terminal Operator collecting a fee for accepting the data, from a Marine Terminal Operator weighing a container, from a Marine Terminal Operator for failure to send the VGM before the cutoff date, or fees for the cost of re-handling containers because of failure to send the VGM before the cutoff date. It is imperative that customers send the VGM in the format of their choosing before the container is tendered to the terminals or railroad ramps.
Thank you for being a valued customer.
We appreciate your business and continued support.
COSCO Container Lines Americas, Inc.