- Solas Verified Gross Mass (VGM) Policy Update
July 1, 2016
Dear Valued Customer,
Today is the first day of the SOLAS Verified Gross Mass regulation and we want to thank you for working with COSCO over the past few weeks as have tirelessly worked to get this new requirement up and running.
There have been many changes and challenges and we hope that most of them are now behind us. Below is the final product of how COSCON will handle this new requirement until such time that additional adjustments may be made.
We continue to accept VGM’s via various EDI methods or direct input to our website. These methods will not change. We prefer all VGM’s to be sent via EDI but we want you, our customer, to understand you have these options.
All Marine Terminal Operators (MTO) that COSCON ships and partner ships call, have weight scales at the entrance to their gates. These scales are all compliant with OSHA and Coast Guard requirements and as such can be used to identify the cargo weight and container weight at gate check in. All of our MTO partners have agreed to allow this method to be used as the VGM for containers moving through their gates. Shippers that do not provide a VGM through EDI or input into COSCON website will, as per COSCON tariff and also OCEMA’s tariff, agree that by using the terminal scale weight you have certified this weight method as the VGM and are not required to supply a written signature. When the VGM weight is provide by the MTO on behalf of the shipper, shipper shall remain liable to Carrier for any damages, costs, loss, fines or penalties to carrier or MTO arising out of regulatory authority’s refusal to accept this VGM calculated in this manner.
It is acknowledged that certain U.S. marine terminals receiving containers via on-dock rail may not have scales suitable for weighing such containers. Therefore, in light of the equivalency determination made by the U.S. Coast Guard, for containers arriving by on-dock rail, carrier will accept actual gross cargo weights (weight of the cargo, packaging materials, pallets, and dunnage) as certified by shipper or its agent pursuant to the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act ("ISCTA") Carrier will arrange for the container tare weight to be added to the ISCTA weight and will forward, on behalf of Shipper, the total gross container weight to the marine terminal operator for stowage planning. For cargo that does not require a certified actual gross cargo weight under the ISCTA, Shippers wishing to avail themselves of this method must nevertheless submit a certified actual gross cargo weight that is consistent with the requirements of ISCTA for determining and reporting gross cargo weights.
As of today there are only a few MTO’s in Long Beach, Mobile, Miami and New York holding out on collecting additional money for Terminal scale weight. We are working with them to eliminate those costs.
For any additional questions please contact your COSCO sales representative, our North American Operations Center (NAOC) at 1-866-830-2550 or our Long Beach, CA Service Center at 1-866-502-6726.
Thank you for being a valued customer.
We appreciate your business and continued support.
COSCO Container Lines Americas, Inc.