From 1 July 2016, packed containers intended to be carried on international sea voyages must be weighed before being loaded. The new measure is to minimize the number of accidents.
In recent years, there has been a number of accidents where large ships have lost containers at sea and where the ship's hull has been extensively damaged due to overload. The main reason for this is probably incorrect container weight data.
Image: Port of New Orleans
Weight information must be available
The new provisions apply in all ports from which packed containers are shipped.
Who establishes the weight?
The shipper who completes the packing of the container is to establish the verified weight. There are two ways of doing this:
- The packed container is weighed by means of a suitable weight.
- The weight of the container's cargo and lashing elements are added to the weight of the empty container (a certified method must be used).
The new regulations do not apply to containers carried on a chassis frame or a trailer on board ro-ro ships engaged on short international voyages.
The regulations will be formally issued in early May 2016 following a European Commission consultation procedure, but the preliminary order is available here: Order on verification of the weight of packed containers.