Brussels, March 9th 2016
From 01 July 2016, all containers to be loaded on a vessel will need to be accompanied by a Verified Gross Mass (VGM). As of now, industry actors have released guidelines on the implementation of SOLAS requirement, but guidance from national authorities is still absent in many cases.
A lack of national guidelines will ultimately provoke confusion in the implementation and will have an adverse impact on operations and lead to possible competitive distortion.
Last January, FEPORT, the European organisation representing terminal operators located out of the sea ports of the European Union, has released a paper calling for greater clarity in regards to national rules on weighing of containers.
FEPORT reiterates its call to Member States to work with all actors in the logistics chain to arrive at national guidelines and to adopt a pragmatic approach to implementation which does not lead to competition distortion between Member States. This is crucial to ensure that the logistics chain can continue to function undisturbed.
FEPORT's Position, joint to this press release, clarifies on the legal responsibilities of terminal operators as of 01 July.
Terminal operators also call for:
- A pragmatic approach regarding the accepted standards for weighing equipment which is not overly restrictive and does not have an adverse impact on the functioning of the logistics chain.
- Communication of the accepted tolerance level for their controlling proceedings of a declared VGM (for example; 5% or an acceptable variation from the declared weight) in advance of 01 July 2016.
- National authorities carry out an impact assessment of the impact of the new SOLAS rules to the logistics chain and, if required, take contingency measures to ensure the logistics chain can function undisturbed as of 01 July 2016.
For further details, please contact:
Ms. Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, FEPORT Secretary General
Mr. Conor Feighan, Policy Advisor