TT Club, a provider of insurance and related risk management services, has revealed that government authorities across the world may be under-equipped to enforce Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) rules and protect the safety of ships and workers both on board and ashore when handling cargo.
According to a new technical paper, The VGM Ruling: A Review of the Implementation, national governments are too focused on other regulatory issues or don’t have the resources to support the International Maritime Organization (IMO) legislation.
SOLAS VGM mandates that the weight of a packed container is declared before it is loaded on board vessels.
Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT Club’s Risk Management Director and author of the paper, stated: “…in many states the maritime administration undertaking at the IMO to implement the amendment is not the government department charged at national level with enforcement.”
TT Club is partnering with Global Shippers Forum, ICHCA International, and the World Shipping Council to promote awareness and active implementation of the CTU Code, a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of cargo transport units for transportation by sea and land.
It has outlined best practice in packing and securing cargo in freight containers, railcars and road trailers alike.
Storrs-Fox added: “Incrementally, the industry can continue to build out from this point with related safety and efficiency initiatives that will have the potential to restore something of utmost good faith through the supply chain.”