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Changes to SOLAS

The International Maritime Organisation’s safety committee has recently made changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty.

These changes could have a huge effect on the way sea-ports load containers and could cause backlogs for shippers and shipping lines.


Shipper to Verify Container Weight

In the month of May 2014, the IMO approved a SOLAS amendment which now requires the shipper to verify the gross weight of a container before loading at all member ports.

This amendment was requested by the Maritime Safety Committee after a spate of incidents where merchant vessels were abandoned at sea due to issues caused by inconsistencies in a ship's weight load and port equipment was damaged by overweight containers.

The changes themselves are due to come into effect on July 1st 2016, however many international ports have opted to delaying the mandatory rules by up to one year whilst they prepare for the changes for example by building and certifying weigh bridges.

If the shipper is unable to provide the port authority or shipping line with the verified gross weight of the container including all dunnage and loading equipment, the cargo will not be loaded and storage charges will begin to accrue.

If you have ant questions relates to the changes to SOLAS, please contact us.

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