Denmark issues preliminary container weighing rule

FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — Shippers may not like it but, under an amendment to the SOLAS convention, but from July 1, 2016 packed containers intended to be carried on international sea voyages must be weighed before being loaded.

The Danish Maritime Authority has now issued a preliminary order to this effect (available HERE) and says that regulations will be formally issued in early May 2016 following a European Commission consultation procedure.
The Danish Maritime Authority says that in recent years there have been been a number of accidents where large ships have lost containers at sea and where the ship's hull has been extensively damaged due to overload. The main reason for this is probably incorrect container weight data.

It has been decided internationally that – as of July 1, 2016 – the so-called "verified weight" of all packed containers must be established. In addition, the weight information is required to follow the container at all times and be available to the ship and the terminal.

The new provisions apply in all ports from which packed containers are shipped.

The shipper who completes the packing of the container is to establish the verified weight. There are two ways of doing this:

  • The packed container is weighed by means of a suitable weight.
  • The weight of the container's cargo and lashing elements are added to the weight of the empty container (a certified method must be used)

The new regulations do not apply to containers carried on a chassis frame or a trailer on board ro-ro ships engaged on short international voyages.

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