Guidance on implementing SOLAS

Aug 12 | 2016

On 1 July, 2016 the amendments to the SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) regulations came into force requiring all shippers to provide a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for each container.

To help shippers a collaboration of authoritative organisations -  the World Shipping Council (WSC), the TT Club, the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) – have jointly released a second Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

As with the initial joint industry FAQ document, published last December, these new supplementary FAQs are based on actual questions from affected stakeholders regarding proper implementation of the new regulations. The supplementary FAQs include new questions and answers as well as expanded answers to some of the questions listed in the December FAQs. As such, these FAQs do not introduce new interpretations or approaches, but seek to provide further assistance in explaining the SOLAS VGM requirements by building on existing guidance material.  

Some of the supplementary FAQs explain in more detail how the SOLAS container verified gross mass requirements should be fulfilled in various circumstances as described in questions received from supply chain parties. Other supplementary FAQs are intended to give additional information regarding the two methods that may be used under the SOLAS VGM requirements to obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container.  

Shippers are urged to continue to approach any of the collaborating organizations with additional questions if necessary.  Contact details of subject-matter experts from each of the organisations can be found at the end of the FAQs document.  

Container safety is a shared responsibility, and all parties have an interest in improving the safety of ships, their crews and others throughout the containerized supply chain while reducing the risk of damage to cargo.   

The FAQs document can be accessed at:


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