South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), the first private container terminal in the Port of Colombo, hosted the members of the Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) and members of the Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO) recently to an interactive information session on the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) verified gross mass (VGM) regulation at its terminal.
The information session was conducted by Chief Commercial Officer Ted Muttiah and General Manager Operations and IT Upul Jinadasa at Cinnamon Grand and was attended by close to 100 shipping company agents and carrier representatives.
Officials from the Director General of Merchant Shipping Secretariat (DGMSS) also attended the session. DGMSS, as the government entity responsible for the implementation and compliance of the protocol in Sri Lanka, had already broadcast its guidelines to the industry.
Under the IMO convention, the responsibility for providing the shipping line with VGM certification for a shipment lies with the shipper. The shipping line/agent once satisfied with the VGM received from the shipper will in turn instruct the terminal via EDI message to load the container to its vessel.
Attendees were complimentary of SAGT’s initiatives in setting out a practical framework in support of VGM compliance in a concise and engaging atmosphere. Several also commented on the terminal’s customer focus in communicating the practical application of the regulation and the pipeline plans it is reviewing to alleviate anticipated pressure points post implementation.