SOLAS VGM FAQ
What is the Verified Gross Mass (VGM)?
The VGM is the measurement of a shipping container’s total weight, including its contents.
Effective from 1st July 2016, a packed container is not allowed to be loaded on board vessels unless its VGM has been provided by to the ocean carrier prior to the load list cut-off date.
When should the VGM be submitted?
Deadline for submission of VGM is published on our website under local schedule.
Please make sure to submit VGM on time. Without VGM your container will not be
If you have any further inquiries, our booking team will be happy to assist you.
Who is the “Shipper” in the context of the responsibility for providing the VGM?
For purposes of this regulation, the full responsibility falls to that of the Shipper who appears on the Carrier’s B/L.
For consolidated cargo – who provides the VGM to the Carrier?
ZIM will receive the VGM from the Freight Forwarder consolidating the cargo and not the separate weights of each different part of the shipment.
Where can we find the Tare of the containers?
The Tare of the containers can be found on the door of the container. You are welcomed to call your local Customer Service representative to receive this information as well.
We intend to provide an option on the ZIM.com website to retrieve the Tare of the container.
What is the cutoff time to submit the VGM?
This is determined locally. The Carrier is responsible to include the VGM in the load list submitted to the terminal. Each terminal requires the load list at a different point in time prior to vessel arrival. Our agents will provide the cutoff time. We intend to provide the VGM Cutoff time on our booking confirmation.
How can the VGM be submitted to the agents?
The VGM cab be submitted by one of the following channels:
- Submit our online form for VGM declaration
- Use ZIM bulk VGM declarations form - enabling reporting multiple VGM at once
- VERMAS EDI or other EDI through the E-Commerce Portals
- Email to the Local Booking Agent - quick list to local offices can be found here
- Include it on the Shipping Instructions as long as they are sent in a timely manner
Will the VGM need to be provided to the Land Transportation haulers?
Haulers contracted by the Carrier will be requested to ensure they know when the VGM will be provided by the Shipper.
Are there terminals which will require the VGM before the container enters the gate?
Yes – there are terminals which will require the VGM before the container enters the gate. We are preparing a list of these terminals worldwide and will publish it accordingly.
Does the terminal receive the VGM from the Carrier or directly from the Shipper?
The IMO Guidelines are as follows:
- 6.3.1. Because the contract of carriage is between the shipper and the shipping company, not between the shipper and the port terminal facility, the shipper may meet its obligation under the SOLAS regulations by submitting the verified gross mass to the shipping company. It is then the responsibility of the shipping company to provide information regarding the verified gross mass of the packed container to the terminal representative in advance of ship loading. Similarly, the shipper may also submit the verified gross mass to the port terminal facility representative upon delivery of the container to the port facility in advance of loading.
- 188.8.131.52 The master or his representative and the terminal representative should enter into arrangements to ensure the prompt sharing of verified container gross mass information provided by shippers. Existing communication systems may be used for the transmission and sharing of such verified container gross mass information.
- 184.108.40.206 At the time a packed container is delivered to a port terminal facility, the terminal representative should have been informed by the shipping company whether the shipper has provided the verified gross mass of the packed container and what that gross mass is.
Direct delivery to the vessel – when does the VGM need to be provided?
The VGM will need to be provided before the container enters the terminal.
Will the governments apply a tolerance threshold for the accuracy of the weight?
The Shipper must weigh the cargo/container and provide an accurate rate. Each Country will decide the tolerance they are willing to accept in cases of discrepancies.
What will happen to the container in the port if the VGM was not received on time?
Containers that do not have a VGM at the closing time and date will not be able to be loaded on the vessel.
Who will pay for any expenses incurred due to lack of VGM (demurrage, storage etc)?
if any charges are received from the port because the container was not loaded, due to lack of VGM, we will have no choice but to roll this charge to the Shipper.
Will all terminals be able to provide a Weighing solution?
No. Not all terminals will provide a weighing solution. Shippers should find a weighing solution that does not rely on the terminal services.
Will the Carrier re-weigh the container or validate the VGM provided by the Shipper?
The Carrier will not be validating the weight provided by the Shippers in their VGM and will proceed with vessel planning based on this weight.
What is the penalty for discrepancies between the VGM and the weight found to be different?
The responsibility of validating the VGM is that of the local authorities in each country. They will determine their penalty individually.
What about long standing containers that were in the port prior to July 1st? Will a VGM be required before loading?
As of July 1st, 2016 all containers being loaded to a vessel MUST have a VGM or cannot be loaded. The same holds true for any container, regardless of its duration in the port.