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Shipping Works In Progress To Roll-Out Verified Weight Declaration For Cargo

The Fiji Ship Owners and Agents Association is in discussion with the relevant authorities over the roll-out of verified gross mass declaration for all containers being loaded on ships for
04 Jun 2016 10:27
Shipping Works In Progress To Roll-Out Verified Weight Declaration For Cargo
Newly-elected chairman of Fiji Ships Owners and Agents Association, Greg von Litzheim.

The Fiji Ship Owners and Agents Association is in discussion with the relevant authorities over the roll-out of verified gross mass declaration for all containers being loaded on ships for export.

This is given from July, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, the container has to have a verified weight.

This is a global change taking place in the shipping industry following the International Maritime Organisation amending the Safety of Life at Sea Convention in January the past year.

Ultimately, the shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight.

This is one of the major challenges to be handled by the newly-elected chairman of the Fiji Ship Owners and Agents Association, Greg von Litzheim.

Mr Litzheim said they were currently in discussions with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji along with the exporters.

He said it was easier for countries like Australia and New Zealand given most of these things were done using the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

In Fiji, Mr Litzheim said they were looking at various methods which includes weigh bridges and also verifying the actual individual pieces of cargo going into the container.

This would be to make sure the container weight is correctly recorded on the declaration that is supposed to be supplied to the shipping company.

What happens if you don’t comply or provide the verified gross mass declaration?

Simply put, Mr Litzheim explained your cargo/container will not be loaded onto the ships.

It would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a vessel if the vessel operator and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container weight.

Hence, it becomes the responsibility of shippers, freight forwarders, vessel operators, and terminal operators to establish policies and procedures to ensure the implementation of this regulatory change.

 

Global requirement

Mr Litzheim stressed this is a global requirement and not just something being done in Fiji. This is also the message the association has been communicating clearly with all Fijian exporters.

He said while the date had been confirmed for July, there could be an extension but they are not sure about it.

However, he said it is better the Fijian exporters prepare for the change now and not wait until the last minute.

Mr Litzheim said it was important to be mindful that our exports go to as many as 60 to 70 ports around the world.

“So we have to be compliant and Fiji being the hub of the Pacific should be at the forefront,” he said.

 

Challenges

Mr Litzheim explained they were a bit worried the new change might bring about port congestion.

“If we have to weigh all the cargo on the weight bridges, we are just slightly worried how this will affect both the ports and the receiver of cargo,” he said.

The association is in discussion with the ports authorities in terms of the logistics.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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