What is the new SOLAS amendment and how does it impact my mobility program?
There are new shipping requirements that mobility professionals should be aware of. Brian Loud, senior VP for international market development with The Suddath Companies, gives you the breakdown.
Complete transcript: “Hi, my name is Brian Loud, and I am the Senior Vice President for International Market Development for the Suddeth Companies. Today we are going to talk about the new SOLAS regulation that took effect on July 1st of this year.
SOLAS stands for Safety of Life at Sea. So what does this mean? In simple terms, it means that household good providers are now required to provide a verified gross mass, or total weight of a shipment, which includes the weight of the container and all cargo inside in order for shipments to be tendered to port and to the vessel. This verified gross mass, or VGM, is required, otherwise shipments may not make their sailings.
So, why is this taking effect now? Due to major incidents and accidents at sea and at ports, the International Maritime Organization has put this regulation into effect really just to secure and make safe people at the ports, people on the vessels, the vessels themselves, and then your household goods, the cargo that we are shipping for your employees. Now this VGM document is required before shipments go to the port and certainly before they are going to be loaded on any vessel. It’s also important to note that this requirement applies to all forms of cargo, this is not just household goods-related, this is for cargo shipped the world over.
So, what does this mean to you? It may mean time and money. In some countries there may be a fee for weighing containers, and for countries that don’t have certified scales, individual packages need to be weighed and added to the weight of the container. Also, if the VGM is not provided at the time of the shipment and the container is delivered to the port, then the container can be turned away and a vessel is missed and a shipment delayed. The good news is this, the International Maritime Organization has asked for a lenient and pragmatic approach to this process. They recognize that this can be burdensome for some countries and so they are waiting to see how this evolves and take that lenient approach.
Hope this was helpful. Have a great day.”