Industry experts have called for a mandatory and, and arguably overdue, discussion on the IMO’s container weighing regulation, which is due to come into effect in July, 2016, as it could cause industry chaos, according to the Loadstar.
It was previously reported that countries such as Vietnam are beginning to tighten their container weighing rules in a bid to tackle the number of overweight containers that are travelling through its ports.
Ports that do not weigh their containers could incur a fine.
Lars Meurling, Vice President and Marketing Director of Bromma, said: “The responsibility for declaring the container weight is already with the shippers but the requirement has been further emphasised through the SOLAS amendment to require “verified weight”, ie a stronger requirement for the accuracy. The SOLAS amendment also says that containers without certified weight will not be loaded on the vessel.
“Bromma is gearing up to supply our twistlock based weight verification solution on both new spreaders, as well as retrofitting existing installations but there is a serious risk that the capacity for retrofitting will not be sufficient as the container handling market has not reacted fast enough.”
Richard Brough, Technical Advisor at the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, argues: “There is no exemption from weighing in some form – if you are a Method 2 shipper, you will still have to weigh the cargo; the calculation aspect comes from adding the cargo weight with the tare weight of the container.
“But, come 1 July next year, there will be containers showing up at the gate without signed verification forms – so how do we manage that? What do we do with those boxes? The whole operational side needs to be discussed and sorted out.”
There are currently two methods for weighing container; weighing a loaded container, or weighing an empty box and then its contents separately.
The amendment of the IMO’s container weighing rule and its implementation date was announced in November, 2014, and was called for amid various accidents involving incorrectly declared container weights.