SPRO1606--Ministry of Transport of P.R. China Issues Notice on Implementation of SOLAS VI Regulation 2 Amendment Requiring Verification of Gross Mass of Packed Containers
Circular Ref No.: SPRO1606
 
Date: 22 June 2016
 
Dear Sirs or Madam,
 
Subject: Ministry of Transport of P.R. China Issues Notice on Implementation of SOLAS VI Regulation 2 Amendment Requiring Verification of Gross Mass of Packed Containers
 
On 06 June 2016,Ministry of Transport of China issued a formal notice setting out detailed requirements for implementation of SOLAS VI Regulation 2 Amendment in China which is to come into effect from 01 July 2016.
 
SOLAS VI Regulation 2 Amendment
 
To ensure maritime safety, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require that packed containers’ gross mass are verified prior to stowage abroad ship. The shipper is responsible for verification of the gross mass of the packed container, and should ensure that the verified gross mass is provided to the master or his representative and terminal operator in shipping documents as early as possible. In the absence of the shipper providing such information, the master is entitled to refuse loading of the container on board, unless the master and the terminal operator has obtained the information through other means.
 
The amended regulation prescribes two methods by which shippers may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container:
 
Method 1: Upon conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or arrange a third party to weigh the packed container;
 
Method 2: Weigh all packages and cargo items using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the State in which the container is packed, and add the weight to the masses of the pallets, dunnage and other securing materials as well as the tare mass of the container to work out the gross mass of the packed container.
 
The requirements to verify the gross mass of a packed container apply to all packed containers to which INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SAFE CONTAINERS (CSC), 1972 applies and which are to be stowed onto a ship subject to SOLAS Chapter VI.
 
China MSA Requirement
 
As China is signatory to SOLAS, the above amendment is binding on China. We hereby summarize the detailed requirements raised in China MSA notice as follows for your reference:
 
  • Requirements on Shippers
 
  1. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the gross mass of a container carrying cargo. Shipper may opt for either one method as stipulated in SOLAS Chapter VI Regulation 2for mass verification of a packed container;
 
  1. Shippers who are going to deliver export packed containers on to a vessel that is scheduled to depart an inland Chinese port after 1 July 2016 are required to verify gross mass of his packed container before transportation. A container which is loaded onboard the vessel at a foreign port before 1 July, 2016 and then arrives at an inland port of China for transit shall not be bound by this requirement.
 
  1. Shippers should communicate the gross mass of packed containers to the master or his representative in a shipping documents, which may either be part of the shipping instructions or an separate communication, which should include at least: 1) verification method; 2) gross mass verification declaration; 3) signature of the shipper’s authorized person (electronic signature is acceptable)
 
The recommended wordings of the gross mass verification declaration are as follows:
 
  1. For gross mass obtained by Method 1, the declaration shall consist of contents hereunder:
“Shipper’s declaration: the gross mass of the packed container declared in the shipping document is obtained in accordance with Method 1 stipulated in SOLAS Chapter VI Regulation 2. The measuring instruments used for verification is certified by measurement institutions and date of verification is within validity of such certificate”.
 
  1. For gross mass obtained by Method 2, the declaration shall consist of contents hereunder:
“Shipper’s declaration: the gross mass of packed container declared in the shipping document is obtained in accordance with Method 2 stipulated in SOLAS Chapter VI Regulation 2. And this method complies with Guidelines on Verification of the Gross Mass of Packed Containers by Summation which is formulated and published by the authorities.
 
  • Requirements on Vessels, Carriers and Terminal Operators
 
Vessels, carriers and their agents and terminal operators should obtain verified gross mass of packed containers before they are loaded onto the ship. Failing to obtain such information, vessels and carriers and their agents should not accept the containers on board, and terminal operators should not arrange loading of these containers.
 
Vessels, carriers and their agents should inform the terminal operators whether the verified gross mass of the packed containers has been provided and what that gross mass is.
 
Vessels, carriers and their agents should establish effective information sharing channel, in order to ensure the verified container gross mass information is effectively communicated in the manner of shipper-carrier-terminal.
 
  • Other Requirements
 
Local MSA offices are required to carry out spot check to verify compliance of the above requirements. Vessels should take rectification measures if the verified gross mass has not been obtained before they can be allowed to depart.
 
In case MSA has valid reason to doubt the verified gross mass is inaccurate, they can require the shipper to redo the verification; shippers, carriers and their agent, vessels and terminal operators should render necessary cooperation.
 
The allowance between the verified gross mass of a packed container provided by the shipper and that obtained by MSA, vessel, carrier or terminal operator should not exceed ±5% or 1 mt (whichever is less), and in any circumstance the gross mass shall not exceed the maxim permitted gross mass of the container.
 
 
 
Hope the above is of assistance.
 
Should you have any query, please feel free to contact us.
 
Sincerely yours,

   

Cui Jiyu
Vice President
 
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