Under the new SOLAS regulations the verified weights of containers must be declared in advance of loading.

SOLAS weighing legilsation
Under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS has drawn up new rules relating to the verification of the gross mass (weight)* of shipping containers and their contents. These regulations come into force on July 1st 2016 in the form of amendments to the long-standing SOLAS VI Regulation 2 – carriage of Cargoes.

Under the new regulations, the verified weights of containers must be declared to the shipping line well in advance of loading. The SOLAS amendment defines two alternative methods for the verification of the gross mass of packed containers.

Method 1 requires the weighing of the container after it has been packed.

Method 2 requires weighing all the cargo and contents of the container prior to loading and adding these weights to the container’s tare weight, as indicated on the door end of the container.

Decisions on exactly how the SOLAS requirements will be implemented and the levels of weighing accuracies will be the responsibility of the individual states. In the UK, the authorities have made it clear that any weighing equipment used to determine the declared weight of the containers (either by Method 1 or Method 2) will need to be weights and measures (trade) approved.

Deciding on which methods shippers will use to verify the declared weight will inevitably depend on the type of cargo. Most containers used for shipping irregular or bulky products will need to be weighed as a complete item as per Method 1. Containers used for regular, pre-packed homogenous products will lend themselves to using Method 2. According to industrial weighing specialists Weightron Bilanciai, although the SOLAS requirements appear to be very straightforward, the actual implementation is expected to be more convoluted, especially in the first 12 months. They anticipate that ports and terminals will need to expand and upgrade their weighbridge capabilities to deal with the inevitable increase in weighing of containers prior to shipping.

To find out how Weightron is helping clients solve the SOLAS weight regulation problem in the most cost efficient way please contact us.

You can either request a copy of our recent white paper and/or book a no obligation consultation with one of our sales engineers.

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