Doubts About Enforcement of SOLAS VGM
Government authorities around the world may be ill-equipped to enforce Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) rules.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from TT Club, a provider of insurance and related risk management services.
That situation could jeopardize the safety of ships and workers on board vessels and ashore when handling container cargo.
Under the VGM rules, which went into effect July 1, 2016, every container to be loaded on a vessel must have a certified weight. The purpose of the rule is to prevent overweight shipments from being loaded and to facilitate stowage plans.
According to the TT Club paper, governments are more focused on other regulatory issues and/or don’t have the resources to support the SOLAS regulations.
According to the report’s author, in many cases the agency implementing the IMO rules is not the same department enforcing the measure.
TT Club is partnering with Global Shippers Forum, ICHCA International, and the World Shipping Council to promote awareness and implementation of the CTU Code, a non-mandatory global code of practice for the handling and packing of cargo for transportation by sea and land.
“Incrementally, the industry can continue to build out from this point,” said Peregrine Storrs Fox, TT Club’s risk management director and report author, “with related safety and efficiency initiatives that will have the potential to restore something of utmost good faith through the supply chain.”