Trade association urges approval of container weighing by terminals

In a letter to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association (NCBFAA) is urging acceptance of an agreement between the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) and six major East and Gulf coast ports to establish a process for transmitting Verified Gross Mass (VGM) data to the carriers prior to loading export cargo from the United States.

Under the proposed agreement, “marine terminals would weigh a container on certified terminal scales and that weight could then be used to fulfill the VGM requirement and develop the necessary stow plans without requiring any additional certifications from shippers.”

This approach makes marine terminals responsible for a container’s certified tare weight and “would alleviate shippers’ concern relating to certifying information pertinent to the equipment they do not own, avoid the need for exporters and NVOCCs to perform redundant weighing procedures and, hopefully, eliminate the need for those parties to pay additional costs that may otherwise be associated with literal adherence to the VGM Guidelines.”

The NCBFAA pointed out that this new process could address a series of concerns that exporters have been raising since the VGM Guidelines were made public in the United States. Among these are associated cost and logistical burdens, lack of implementation uniformity, and the requirement that shippers provide the certified weight of equipment that they neither own nor control.

Source: NCBFAA

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