AgTC Affirms Support for Coast Guard’s Interpretation of SOLASTuesday, March 15, 2016
(North American Meat Institute)
The Agricultural Transportation Coalition (AgTC), of which NAMI and the U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association are members, sent a letter to Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to express support for the U.S. Coast Guard’s interpretation of the container weight amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The organizations specifically cited the amendment’s flexibility in determining verified gross mass (VGM), by allowing the shipper to provide the cargo mass weight to which the carrier would add the container weight—an action that would still achieve the intent of SOLAS. AgTC expressed concern that some ocean carriers are demanding that the shipper certify both the cargo and the carrier’s container, which would create U.S. supply chain disruption and delay, cause a competitive disadvantage for U.S. exporters and yield expensive and disruptive new Electronic Data Interchange software and processes.
The organizations also note in the letter that advance submission of accurate gross cargo weight is already a well-established practice mandated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, by numerous intermodal weight requirements and is presently found in Shippers Instructions to carriers to meet so-called “no doc, no load” cargo cutoffs for entry into marine terminals. Further, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Rule, in place since 1983, assures that the accurate weight of combined cargo and container be known to the carrier prior to loading.share on facebook share on twitter