China is tackling the imminent global container rule much slower than the rest of the world, with a lack of clarity relating to which Chinese authority is dealing with the IMO’s new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation, with industry professionals citing operational issues as a contributor to a slow process, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The confusion stems from whether it is the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Communications, or the Maritime Safety Administration that is dealing with the ‘Verified Gross Mass’ aspect of the new SOLAS rule.
An account manager speaking on behalf of an unnamed Chinese shipping company said: “For instance, not every terminal in China has the required equipment to verify the weight of container. And how to calculate if a trailer carries two 20-foot containers with different cargoes?
“There are a lot [of] things still to be defined before the regulation is actually launched. We understand the Ministry of Transport will be in charge, but so far we are not certain.”
Terminal operators recently expressed concern over the lack of information pertaining to the new rule, with private port federation FEPORT calling on national authorities to draw up effective guidelines to quell confusion.
EU shippers have also shown their concerns and have recently urged governments to clarify how shippers can best comply with the new regulation.
The new regulation is due to come into effect on July 1, 2016.