Update on SOLAS VGMcontainer


The SOLAS amendments were adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in November 2014 and became mandatory on  July 1, 2016.  Shippers are required to submit verified gross mass or weight of a stuff container (VGM) to the terminal operator. This regulation has substantial impact on operational practices between the parties in the international supply chain involved in the movement of containers by sea.


The following countries in Asia that will implement the VGM regulation are as follows and will be taken care of at origin by Scarbrough partners like Honour Lane Shipping to name just one.

  1.  Hong Kong, China                            Malaysia
  2.  Macao, China                                   Myanmar
  3.  Bangladesh                                      Philippines
  4.  Brunei Darussalam                            Republic of Korea
  5.  Cambodia                                        Singapore
  6.  China                                              Sri Lanka
  7.  India                                               Taiwan
  8.  Indonesia                                        Thailand
  9.  Japan                                             Vietnam

As per the regulation, the shipper on Ocean BOL will be responsible to submit the VGM.  Scarbrough (or its partners in other ports of origin) will then submit the VGM on behalf of the actual shipper.  As stated by regulation, we are required to collect the VGM information from the shippers and submit the data to shipping lines and terminal operators. VGM submission can be done through Shipping Line’s website, 3rd party portals (INTTRA, CargoSmart, GT Nexus), or by providing a verified container weight receipt (original copy) to the terminal operator.

The shipping lines may set up a cut off time for VGM submission and that VGM cut off time may similar to the S/I cut off time.

VGM regulation’s impact on:

1. Take measures on weighing containers
2. Submit the VGM before the cut off time
3. Be liable for the consequence of invalid VGM data submitted
4. Additional cost on container weight verification & VGM submission

Things yet to know:
1. Penalty from the terminal operator for invalid VGM data
2. Tolerance of the VGM accuracy
3. Cost of e-VGM submission

Shipping lines and terminal operators will pilot the VGM process in May, we shall have clearer picture later on and we will share with you for all details.
Stayed tuned for more information as we continue to monitor the process in both the United States and around the world.

For questions, please email info@scarbrough-intl.com.

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View YouTube playlist on questions/answers here.