SOLAS VGM (Verified Gross Mass) is effective as from 1st of July 2016.

VGM is required for containers shipped by sea.

Solas (Safety of Life at Sea) basic principles

  • Before a packed container can be loaded onto a ship, its weight must be determined through weighing of the container or declaration by the loader of cargo weight determined by calibrated weighing equipment– A verified weight is a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship. No verified weight means no load.
  • Estimating weight is no longer acceptable.
  • The Shipper on the Bill of Lading has the responsibility to forward the verified gross weight to the carrier or forwarder.
  • Two permissible methods for weighing:
    – Method 1: use a calibrated & certified weigh bridge
    – Method 2: prove the weight by a certified calculation method; the weight of the cargo, other cargo items (pallets etc) and the tare weight of the container have to be declared.
  • Margin of error with calculation method:
    – For containers with a total weight up to 10.000 kilos, a margin of maximum 500 kilos is allowed
    – For containers with a total weight of more than 10.000 kilos, a maximum margin of 5% is allowed

Method 1 and method 2

In search of more information about method 1 and method 2 : open this PDF.

Extended information

Looking for extended information SOLAS mandatory requirement