SOLAS CHANGES – Last Month of Grace Period
September is the last month before regulations are enforced
As we reported back in June, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) new SOLAS container weight requirements came into effect on Friday, July 1st 2016.
The changes were implemented worldwide to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, and included amendments that affect importers and exporters everywhere.
Verified Gross Mass
The changes to SOLAS mean that all exporters are required to present and verify the weight of all containers, (and forwarders when they are named as the shipper on the bill of lading) before they are received at the load port or terminal and loaded aboard ships.
For more information and details of how to comply to the new regulations, download our SOLAS Guide
A Period of Grace
The new VGM regulation caused considerable confusion. Many forwarders, shipping lines and exporters were unprepared for the new rules, prompting fears of ocean supply chain disruption and port congestion.
Following this, the IMO decided to relax its stance on the enforcement of new SOLAS regulations. It instructed regulators to take “a practical and pragmatic approach” when enforcing the new regulations for a period of three months immediately following 1st July.
The practical impact of this policy change was that a 3-month grace period was allowed before enforcement of the verified gross mass (VGM) requirement took effect.
As has been noted, the effective date of the new safety regulation did not change. SOLAS regulations took effect on 1st July. It is simply the enforcement of the VGM requirement that was delayed.
End of Grace – The Clock is Ticking
The 3-month grace period for enforcement allowed everyone in the trade to give additional time to obtain further clarification from the IMO.
However, the new VGM requirements are fully coming into effect on or about October 1st. Which means that September is the last month to make sure that you are complying.
If you haven’t already done so, download our handy guide to the SOLAS changes to help you understand your obligations under the new regulations before the end of the month.
Or contact us for friendly helpful advice.
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- The Theatre of Food Dreams – Freedom Logistics at Food is Great, Old Trafford
- Freedom Logistics MD, Chris Houghton, in star turn at the Theatre of Dreams
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