South Carolina Ports to Help Shippers Comply With SOLAS Weight Requirements - Global Trade Magazine
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  May 8th, 2016 | Written by

South Carolina Ports to Help Shippers Comply With SOLAS Weight Requirements

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  • The South Carolina Ports Authority has weighed every export container received at its terminals for years.
  • Upon receipt of a request from a shipper, the port will provide the gross weight of the container and cargo.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard has approved U.S. ports to verify the weight of containers on behalf of the shipper.

The ports of South Carolina will be making it easier for shippers to comply with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations that require transmitting of verified loaded container weights to carriers before loading.

For many years, the South Carolina Ports Authority has weighed every export container received at its terminals on calibrated scales. The SCPA has announced that, upon receipt of a timely request from an export shipper, the port will provide to the shipper the estimated gross weight of the container and cargo.

The announcement came a week after the U.S. Coast Guard approved U.S. ports to verify the weight of containers on behalf of the shipper to comply with the SOLAS regulations, which come into effect on July 1.

“It has been our position all along that we have employed a best practice in safely loading ships in our port for the last 20 years due to our weighing of all export containers,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO.  “We applaud the Coast Guard for recognizing this in its recent Declaration of Equivalency to the International Maritime Organization on the SOLAS regulations.”

The gross weight of tractor, container, chassis, and cargo will be determined by weighing the entire unit on the scale. Deduction will be made for weight of tractor and fuel as provided by the truck driver to the interchange clerk along with the posted tare weight of the chassis. After these deductions, the gross weight of the container and cargo so derived will be provided to the shipper. This is the same weight that will be provided directly to the shipping line.

The SCPA does not certify the accuracy of the weight, however. Rather, it makes its best efforts to ensure the provision of an accurate weight using the methodology above. It is the responsibility of the shipper to provide the required weight certification to the shipping line as specified in the SOLAS regulations. The export shipper must pay a fee of $25 per container weighed.

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