Cargo mis-declaration is the cause of many container fires, while accurate weight of cargo containers is another critical safety issue. Shipper shall provide Verified Gross Mass (VGM) to the ship.

Be aware of danger, take precautions and comply with SOLAS requirements.

SOLAS Ch. VI Reg 5

Cargo, cargo units and cargo transport units shall be loaded, stowed and secured throughout the voyage in accordance with the Cargo Securing Manual approved by the Administration.

SOLAS Ch. VI Reg 2

-Verification of the gross mass (VGM) of a packed container

The cargo information shall include a general description of the cargo, the gross mass of the cargo or of the cargo units, and any relevant special properties of the cargo.

The shipper of a container shall ensure the VGM is stated in the shipping document.

The shipping document shall be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper, submitted to the master or his representative and to the terminal representative sufficiently in advance, as required by the master or his representative, to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan.

If the shipping document, with regard to a packed container, does not provide the VGM and the master or his representative and the terminal representative have not obtained the VGM of the packed container, it shall not be loaded on to the ship.

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-How to weigh a packed container

In the case of cargo carried in a container, shippers shall provide the captain or representative of the container stations with information on VGM of export containers, either by:

-Method 1: Weighing the packed container using appropriate measuring equipment.

-Method 2: Weighing each cargo item, including pallets, dunnage and other packing materials, and calculating the gross mass by adding the tare-weight of a container.

Masters' responsibility in preventing the risk of liquefaction

Shared responsibility between master and terminal representative

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Tokyo MoU Safety Bulletin