Europe calls for container weighing clarity

DP World ready for SOLAS implementation DP World ready for SOLAS implementation

With implementation of the new SOLAS convention just two months away, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has called for clarity.

It has joined up with European organisations representing shippers, freight forwarders, terminal operators and port authorities in the call on national authorities to avoid any disruption in the logistics chain during the implementation.

A joint letter from ESPO, CLECAT, ESC AND Feport referred to the need for a commitment to a level playing field: “To ensure that the implementation of the new legal requirements does not create competition distortion through a patchwork of varying national measures, Member States should pursue a coordinated European approach, taking into consideration the national guidelines of other Member States when deciding on national rules.”

It explained: “Supply chain actors and national authorities should work towards commonly accepted guidelines in order to minimise distortion of competition and ensure smooth functioning of the SOLAS requirements.”

The joint letter also referred to the need for clarity of the certification of weighing equipment and methods, acceptable tolerances for weighing equipment and chains of communication.

Commonly accepted guidelines between supply chain actors and national authorities are expected to be able to minimise distortion of competition and ensure smooth functioning of the SOLAS requirement.

This comes as the UK P&I Club warns that terminals and shippers are unprepared to comply with SOLAS, it  is worried that without steps being taken to address the requirements, chaos and commercial disputes may ensue.

A failure to comply once the regulation is in place will worryingly lead to result in fines, delays and potential loss of business for carriers.

As Europe calls for a coordinated approach, DP World has announced that it is prepared for the implementation of the new IMO regulation which comes into effect on July 1, 2016.

Weighing services will be offered for exporters to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of each container so that they comply with the new legislation.

Sultan Ahmen Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World, said: “All our terminals will be ready to meet the obligations under the legislation and each one will have certified weighing solutions in place to serve exporters in the IMO member states where we operate.”

He added: “DP World is offering customers an efficient solution for this new mandatory international regulation. Safety of a container at sea means security and peace of mind for the shipper.”

The new SOLAS regulation means that shippers of goods must obtain the VGM of laden export containers and communicate it to ocean carriers sufficiently in advance of the ship stowage planning.

Ocean carriers and container terminal operators will be legally obliged to ensure that containers without a VGM are not loaded on to a ship in all 162 IMO member states that are required to enforce the new law.

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