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The VGM Ruling: A Review of the Implementation

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Author(s): Peregrine Storrs Fox, Risk Management Director, TT Club, London, UK

The much trumpeted container weighing regulation which exercised much of the freight industry last year is hoped to be the mere overture to a concerted effort to bring about significant behavioural change. This paper assesses the degree of compliance with the VGM regulation that has been achieved but also looks forward to what needs to be done to further ensure safety and sustainability in the global supply chain.

 The new international regulations that clearly defined what comprises ‘gross mass’ for transporting packed containers by sea came into force nearly a year ago in July,2016. Then, it became mandatory for one of two weighing processes to be completed as a pre-condition for packed containers to be loaded on board a ship.

It has thus far proven impossible to gather definitive information about the implementation around the globe of this SOLAS amendment. Anecdotes abound and do not immediately provide comfort in relation to material compliance.

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