SOLAS, VGM (DBA) Notification / Container Weight Document Obligation Special Bulletin
From 1 July 2016 onwards, all containers carrying goods will be required to have the 'Container Weight Certificate' under the provisions of the SOLAS treaty, as announced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to whose rulings and decisions all maritime transport companies are subject.
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In this regard, it is necessary to provide the shipping companies with the container authenticated gross weight (DBA) document internationally known as the VGM (Verified Gross Mass) according to the specified cut off period before loading operations. Otherwise, loading operations cannot continue.
(A list of certified weighing devices and the weighing houses is expected to be issued by the Ministry.)
** List of weighing stations with calibration; there is still ambiguity regarding the issue but a list of weighing stations has started to be circulated; the catch here is, although all weighing stations are certified by the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry, not all stations have been accredited by the Ministry according to the ISO 17025 Standard. In accordance with the directive, the weighing stations to be used must comply with both standards
Two methods have been identified for gross weight determination according to the directives;
Method 1: The gross weight of the full container is determined by weighing the container after the container is completely closed and sealed.
Method 2: For each load to be loaded into the container, the weights of the packing and fixing materials are added together with the tare weight of the container and the gross weight of the full container is determined.
For both methods, it is necessary to use the weighing instruments of the institutions and organizations which have the characteristics stated in the directive by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology and which are accredited.
Method 2 can only be used by shippers with the authorization certificate specified in the relevant directive.
Notifications may be made by means of EDI tools, portals prepared by the shipowner web sites, with the signing of the forms prepared by the shipowners by authorized persons.
The obligation of weighing the loaded containers and notifying the verified gross weights belongs to the person / institution whose name appears on the consignment note, ie the shipper. The shipper must keep the form and the scales receipt showing the verified gross weight of the full container for at least 3 years and present it when requested by the administration.
The issue of executing transactions with authorization documents and making requests for scales to weight the loads at the ports have been interpreted differently by shipowners and port operators and it is expected that a standard implementation procedure will be established soon.
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