In the future, loaded containers must not be taken on board a ship until their weight has been determined. This was decided by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at a recent meeting. The correct weight – the so-called verified weight – can be determined in two ways. One can either weigh the loaded container at an approved weighing station or one can ensure that the individual items in the container are weighed and added to the container’s net weight.
Since the freight rate depends on the weight, it has not been easy to get the provisions in place. But now there is a general understanding that incorrect data may result in container stacks collapsing, containers falling over board and ship accidents as a consequence of overloaded ships. The fact that container ships are becoming larger and larger has contributed to an improved understanding of the problems.
The new international regulations take effect on 1 June 2016.
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