From 1 July 2016, the International Maritime Organisation’s Maritime Safety Committee approved amendments which will require that shippers verify the gross container weight prior to shipping.
The mis-declaration of a container’s weight occurs often in international shipping and is reported to be as high as 20% of all containers at any given time are mis-declared.
Impacts of overloading are varied and have resulted in significant accidents, disrupted supply chains and have even been blamed for the sinking of vessels. To comply with this new directive, all container weights must now be verified prior to loading on board a vessel.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
The impact to exporters means that the declared weight on your export documentation will be need to be verified by the shipping line before your export documents can be finalised.
The most notable impact this will have is on the request for export certificates from government & non-government bodies. Where the declared weight is required on a Certificate of Origin for example, exporters may need wait for the verified weights before making the request.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DOCUMENT CONFORMITY
Remembering the number one cause of import delays and customs detainments is inconsistent documentation. Where the declared weight on a BOL is in contradiction to that of the commercial docs and declarations, we can almost certainly see the customs officials handing out red flags for impoundment.
WHAT TO DO
Have a chat to your friendly freight forwarder about how this might impact your business’ export procedures and ensure your export team are aware of the potential impact.