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This is an update on the the July 1st, 2016 deadline for the

new SOLAS weight verification requirements passed by the

IMO in 2014.


Effective from July 1, 2016, the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requires the shipper named on ocean carrier’s bill of lading has to provide a verified gross mass (VGM) for packed container. Without a verified gross mass, the packed container shall not be loaded aboard ship.


The rules prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:


•  Method 1, upon the conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged that a third party weigh, the packed container.


•  Method 2, the shipper (or, by arrangement of the shipper, a third party) may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the container’s contents.

               (Estimating the weight of a container’s contents is not permitted.)


In respect of both method 1 and 2, the weighing equipment used must meet the applicable accuracy

standards and requirements of the State in which the equipment is being used.


For more details and FAQ, please refer to below web links:   


-The Tare Weight is located on the back right door of containers. The weight would need

to be taken before container is backed into the dock for loading to be added to the

weight of the contents for the VGM.





Ports of Export vary in terms of required timing for SOLAS VGM submission to carrier.  Some terminals are requiring submission before in-gate, and other requiring by documentation or cargo cutoff.  In all cases, cargo cannot load the vessel without VGM submission.  Because of this, we ask that SOLAS VGM be submitted to RELCO Inc. Immedaitely following loading of container to avoid any delays. 


For terminals or rail ramps who reject container at gate when no VGM received:

–Shipper is responsible for providing VGM to RELCO Inc. before in gate. RELCO Inc. will forward VGM electronically to carrier.


For terminals who accept container prior to VGM receipt:

–Shipper is responsible for providing VGM to RELCO Inc. before Booking Cut Off date, otherwise the booking will be rolled to next vessel.

–Shipper will be responsible for all the costs for booking roll over at port.


We have provided the attached form for submission to us as you carrier so that we can duly process with the lines. 


Shippers will provide VGM Certified Weight Certificate to RELCO Inc. via email


Required Information: 


Method 1:

–Container number

-Steamship Line booking number

-Container weight if shipper decided to use method one (by physical weighing)


Method 2:

-Container number

-Steamship Line booking number

-Cargo weight if shipper decided to use method two (by calculating).

-Shipper can input (cargo weight + weight printed on container) on form provided.


Once RELCO Inc. receives VGM from Shipper we will send VGM electronically to

terminals or carriers.


Since, RELCO INC. Lines is acting as your agent for international export container shipments, we are required to submit VGM certification for all cargo loaded into containers for ocean export. The VGM is to be submitted to carrier prior to arrival at the piers for loading of the containers on to the vessels. Without the VGM containers will not be loaded onto the vessel.


Below are the procedures that need to be followed so that your shipments are not held up.


Shippers will be asked to initially supply RELCO INC. with a form of Scale Calibration Certificate issued by the authority in their local area conforming to the guidelines for calibration of scales set forth by the local authority. This will only be necessary upon initial set up and when new calibration is performed to re-certify per local authority guidelines.  • Any additional mandatory/optional

information as requested by local authorities (e.g. for UK, Weighing Party Certification No.) may be required in conjunction. 


  • This weight needs to include product, the packaging and the means that the products are loaded into or on for handling along with any dunnage used for blocking and bracing. These include: totes, bins, crates, wooden boxes, drums, pallets, 2 x 4 wood, loose pallets, airbags, etc. This total weight is then added to the container tare weight located on the back of the container doors to give the total weight / VGM.

  • Should shipper not be able to weigh their cargo prior to leaving their facility, RELCO Inc. can provide this service, provided the trucker will be able to stop at a weigh station for a fee to be advised per market price.  In order to exercise this option, we must be notified at time of booking or before arrangement of drayage.


  • Any fines or penalties accessed due to shipper’s supplied weight being found inaccurate will be for the account of the shipper.

SOLAS - Safety of Life at Sea

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