Verified Gross Mass
V.G.M. is the acronym for Verified Gross Mass and this is the verified weight of an FCL load in its entirety, i.e. the sum of the weight of the goods, the primary packaging, any secondary packaging, for example pallets, the materials used to secure the load, together with the tare weight of the container itself.
As of 1st July 2016, the VGM became a requirement for the acceptance of containers prior to loading.
It is the responsibility of the shipper to declare the VGM. A shipper can authorize a third party to provide the VGM on their behalf.
The new ruling is enforced globally, even though the interpretation and application can vary by country, in fact individual countries can issue their own guidelines based on the SOLAS requisites. Generally the VGM rules are issued by either the Coastguard or local maritime authorities.
The SOLAS Convention, an acronym of Safety of Life and Sea, is the most important of all the international treaties governing the safety of merchant ships and the safety of life at sea.
The VGM requirements lists two possible methods for determining the VGM. However, in both cases, the weighing procedures and / or instruments used to calculate the VGM must conform to the standards of the country where the weighing procedure is carried out. An estimate of a VGM is not permitted.
METHOD 1 – WEIGHING
When the loading of goods has been completed and the seal applied, the shipper can then either weigh
the container themselves or authorize a third party to do so on their behalf.
METHOD 2 – CALCULATION
Using certified and calibrated equipment, by weighing all the cartons and individual items (including the weight of any individual packaging) and by finally adding to this the tare weight of the container
Autor: Francesca Savia
Operations and Compliance Manager
Savitransport – HQ Florence