Compulsory Container Weighing effective 1 July 16.
As advised earlier and as constantly reported in industry press the new Compulsory Container Weighing Laws become effective around the globe on 1st July this year. This law is referred to as V.G.M. or Verified Gross Mass. As from this date a ship will not
load a container anywhere in the world without a declared VGM.
In New Zealand the VGM is required to be lodged at the Port where the cargo is to be loaded and in advance of the container arriving at the port gate. If not then the truck will be turned away.
The ports in New Zealand will not be offering a container weighing service although this may vary at some inland ports where weighbridges are available.
In all cases the declaration of the VGM is the responsibility of the exporter of the container. The exporter is regarded as the party shown as the 'Shipper' on the Bill of Lading. The exporter can nominate a third party such as Malcolm Total Logistics to report the VGM on their behalf although there must be a clear 'commercial' relationship documented between the parties in case an audit is required. We will be in touch further about this.
There are two ways that the VGM can be determined:
• Method 1: Requires the whole container to be weighed once packed and the doors are sealed.
• Method 2: Requires the individual items for packing to be separately weighed and this amount is to be added to confirmed weight of any packing materials, dunnage, pallets etc. and then added to the tare weight of the container. The sum of all that becomes the VGM under Method 2. NB if packages are already pre weighed with a certified weight stamped on the packaging then they do not have to be weighed again.
When using Method 2 exporters can obtain the tare weight of the container from the details printed on the side of the container or shipping lines are now developing web systems which will allow customers to look up the tare weights of the containers.
Similar to road deliveries any containers carried by rail will need a VGM lodged with the port prior to cargo arrival. Any containers arriving at the port without a VGM will be turned around and despatched back to their journey load point. Costs for this and handling at the port will be charged to the exporter.
Containers carried by coastal shipping (other that RORO including Cook Strait Ferries) will still require the VGM lodged at the first load port.
Weights declared at the time of booking and weights declared for the purpose of the Bill of Lading are not necessarily the VGM. In all cases the VGM is only the confirmed gross laden weight of the container.
A new web based portal call Port Connect is being developed across all New Zealand ports. This will be used to convey the VGM data from the exporter or his agent to the Port.
Hard copy documents or copies of weight bridge certificates will not be permitted to convey the VGM data to the port. Port Connect may not be fully functional by 1st July so there may be some interim practices and we will advise closer to the time. There will be a charge created around the use of the Port Connect Portal.
Even though the global implementation date for VGM is 1st July NZ ports will require VGM info to be supplied from mid-June. This is to ensure 100% compliance by the recognised implementation date. We will advise the applicable ships nearer the time.
In all cases the exporter is required to have a documented process like ISO to show which VGM weighing method they use and to prove how their VGM was calculated whether using Method 1 or Method 2. Exporter's staff are also required to be trained in the VGM process. The person lodging the VGM is required to be an ' authorised person' and we expect to have more details on this soon.
Locally Maritime New Zealand is responsible for the enforcement of VGM and MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) are responsible for the certification of all weighing devices in accordance with the Weights and Measures Act. Only weigh devices that are certified by MBIE will be qualified to weigh cargo and containers relevant to VGM.
Maritime NZ have not yet advised the consequences for inaccurate VGM information however by law they will have to enforce compliance and apply penalties at some stage. We expect to hear more on this in due course.
We will send a separate message regarding the arrangements and process for LCL cargo very shortly as this is still being worked through. LCL cargo will still require a VGM however.
Also this new law does not affect import cargo. Import containers arriving in to New Zealand will carry with them the VGM declared by the exporter in the country of origin. This information is transmitted through electronic bay plan files that travel between ports in advance of the ships arrival.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Malcolm Total Logistics. 0800-786-786