The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) initiative will be in effect July 1, 2016, putting immense pressure on shipping ports around the world to get ready for the newest requirement within the shipping industry. This initiative will require ports within the treaty to verify shipping container weight as they go through the port. If the port does not comply they will be in violation of SOLAS. Implementing this new safety regulation will help shipping companies meet proper conex shipping container weight limits.
2 Ways to Comply with SOLAS
There are two primary ways the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are allowing shipping ports to weigh the ships, and each method has been approved by SOLAS. They will be monitored over time to make sure the methods are efficient and allowing ports meet the requirements of the newest maritime regulations. Within the first few months, SOLAS will be flexible with documentation and weight limits to allow shipping ports time to adjust to the new standards.
● Method 1
This method allows port owners the right to weigh in the ship themselves, as long as they have prepared their ports to weigh ships as a whole. They can weigh the entire loaded shipping containers to come to an accurate Verified Gross Mass of the containers on the ship.
● Method 2
Method two allows shipping ports to calculate the weight of the containers based on a combination of all of the goods aboard the ship as well as the tare weight of the containers themselves. These two numbers will calculate the Verified Gross Mass of the goods aboard the ship.
These new methods require ports to invest in proper weighing equipment if they do not already have access to it. Although this puts a strain on many container shipping sales companies and ports, it will now be a requirement by SOLAS, and they will need to comply with the new laws starting July 1, 2016. Currently, 162 states, including the United States of America, are included in this initiative.
Once implemented this new requirement will allow SOLAS to regulate shipping weights properly and make sure excessive overcapacity isn’t occurring on ships. With this in place, ports will be able to handle proper weights and provide their workers with safer environments and improved work conditions. Not only will this initiative improve work safety it will hold companies responsible to shipping laws and make owners liable for any errors along the way. Noncompliance with this initiative has a lawful punishment of up to two years in prison.