Sri Lanka to enforce container weight rule from October

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping ministry said new international safety regulations that make container weighing mandatory for shippers would be enforced from October 1, 2016.

Local regulations giving effect to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) would be implemented from July 1 by the director general of Merchant Shipping, a statement said.

Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga has held discussions with all relevant parties involved in the shipping industry on the new IMO rule.

The IMO said last month that it would take a “pragmatic approach” to the new container weighing law that comes into effect globally from July 1 and give three months for shippers and others to prepare in order to minimise supply chain disruption.

The IMO relaxed its stance after surveys revealed that many shippers and forwarders were still not sure how they should comply with the new rules.

The SOLAS rule requires shippers and forwarders to verify and provide their container’s verified gross mass (VGM) to the ocean carrier and port terminal before it is loaded onto a ship.

The new rule was proposed after fears that cargo whose weight was incorrectly declared could destabilise ships and cause ships to capsize and other accidents .

(Colombo/June 14 2016)

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