FMC Threatens Action Against Carriers Over VGM

Federal Maritime Commission has threatened action against any ocean carrier unable to find a way to "embrace the obvious solution to achieving compliance that Marine Terminal Operators can offer."

The U.S. Coast Guard has ruled that any container weights obtained using existing equipment and standards for purposes of complying with existing U.S. laws will also be sufficient for VGM purposes.

"The Coast Guard has made it clear that the existing methods and procedures for tendering export cargo and declaring container weights are already in compliance with what was mandated via the International Maritime Organization’s amendment to SOLAS," said FMC Commission chairman Mario Cordero.

Hong Kong, the U.K. and Japan have set a maximum tolerance of five percent between the VGM weight of a container and its true weight; India specifies a plus-minus 200kg tolerance; Vietnam has not published a final rule but is said to be contemplating a requirement for at-terminal weighing, on top of a shipper-provided VGM. The U.S. specifies no particular tolerance value.