For anyone in the global trade industry, it is no surprise there is a delay option on the anticipated SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM) or Weight Verification requirement. This has been an International Maritime Organization topic since 2013.  In 2014, The Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO approved guidelines, and the Verified Gross Mass requirement became real in 2015 when the IMO decided on an implementation date for July 1, 2016.  With many issues still left unanswered and frustrated parties across the industry, the VGM or Weight Verification requirement continues to be a hot topic.  Scarbrough has created a FAQ page for your convenience. To view, click here.

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Quick Facts:  The amendment created to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires the verified gross mass (VGM) of containers to be documented before they can be loaded on ships with an original implementation date of July 1, 2016.  However, it has been announced that a signatory nation now has to option to delay that date for up to one year, as long as they notify the U.N. agency prior to July 1.

*The U.S. Coast Guard has not signed up for this option. Read more here.

The VGM requirement has been in existence for quite some time, but is just now being enforced to, simply stated, improve safety.  An overweight container can easily damage another shipper’s container, hurt the vessel, cause equipment at the terminal to be imbalanced or even hurt the environment.  If a VGM is not communicated, there are prices to pay, and it is the shipper’s responsibility to do so.  A container may not be loaded on the vessel or a shipper may receive a fine There are many details that still need to be arranged on an international level.  To read more details, please visit

Download VGM FAQ


American Shipper Research – Eric Johnson

Scarbrough Cares for You – Patrick Colligan

Who is responsible to provide container weight? Answer

Weight scale program is already certified whats next? Answer

Will scales need to be certified by outside agencies? Answer

How and to who should I provide the information to? Answer

Should the shipper actually be responsible for the weight? Answer

Is there going to be a variants allow?  Answer

Can forwarders with a POA sign in behalf of a company? Answer

What is the total weight allowed? Answer

What is the responsibility or liability of the consignee? Answer

Who is responsable for LCL Cargo? Answer

What if there is a discrepancy? Answer

Weighting vs Timing Answer

Will this affect contracts between shippers and carriers? Answer

How is Scarbrough assisting their clients? Answer

Any relation between VGM and AES process? Answer

Multivendor Consolidation for Scarbrough Answer

Is this a worldwide regulation? Answer