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Coast Guard Announces Additional SOLAS Compliance Methods

Friday, May 6, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The U.S. Coast Guard last week filed a Declaration of Equivalency with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) affirming existing U.S. laws and regulations for providing verified container weights are equivalent to the requirements in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulation. The Coast Guard sent to the IMO a letter outlining its determination that its current regulatory regime permits other entities within the container export chain to work in combination with the shipper to determine and verify container weights. The declaration provides flexibility for these entities to calculate the verified gross mass (VGM) by allowing the terminal to weigh the container, and when duly authorized, verify the VGM on behalf of the shipper. The Coast Guard also allows the shipper and carrier to reach an agreement whereby the shipper verifies the weight of the cargo, dunnage and other securing material, and the carrier provides and verifies the container's tare weight. The SOLAS amendments take effect July 1, 2016.

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