US Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Thomas has told the TPM Conference that he believes the impending SOLAS guidelines on container weight verification “are not mandatory”, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The statement comes shortly after a letter was sent to the International Maritime Organization from the Global Consolidators Working Group stating that the impending container weighing rule is “too vague” to implement.
Despite the recent voices of dissent, the rule is still set to be implemented on July 1, 2016, with myriad issues still to be solved in how shippers – who bear ultimately responsibility for the correct weight of a loaded container – actually weigh cargo.
There are presently two options: to weigh the container and its contents separately, or to weigh the container with its contents preloaded.
The latter option seems to be the most favourable at present, and with this option shippers have the opportunity to weigh containers in ports. A variety of opportunities are being developed for this.