The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) yesterday said the Sri Lankan ports have fully complied with the mandatory gross mass verification (VGM) rule brought forward by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from July 1, 2016.
The IMO has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requiring shippers to verify and provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier prior to it being loaded onto a ship.
The SLPA said the Merchant Shipping Secretariat (MSS) under the Ports and Shipping Ministry has notified the customers of the rule change, requiring shippers to verify and provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier prior to it being loaded onto a ship.
In this regard, the MSS recently conducted several meetings and discussions with related stakeholders in order to finalize an agreeable system with the shipping industry.
“The agreed Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN ) has been issued by now to introduce Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention in Chapter VI - Regulation 2 on cargo information regarding a mandatory container gross mass verification, which will be implemented in Sri Lankan Ports from July 1, 2016,” the SLPA said in a statement.
The SLPA further said these MSN guidelines were drafted following discussions between the relevant Sri Lankan trade bodies together with the SLPA, South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt.) Ltd (SAGT), Colombo International Container Terminals (Pvt.) Ltd (CICT) and Merchant Shipping Secretariat (MSS) and formed the basis of Sri Lankan industry and government advice on implementing the provisions of the SOLAS.
“Towards this end, adhering strictly to the stipulated guidelines in the said convention and also taking note of the need of the hour, in keeping par with the prerequisites, the SLPA has calibrated all weigh bridges and are registered with the Director General of Merchant Shipping of Sri Lanka. Further, Terminal Management System at the container Terminals of the SLPA has been equipped with necessary modifications in facilitating this venture and is running smoothly to the contentment of its customers,” the SLPA said. The relevant gazette notification is to be published in due course.