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Re: VGM Submission in the United States

Dear Valued DGX Customer:

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has made amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention indicating that all shippers must comply with mandatory container weight verification requirements, or Verified Gross Mass (VGM), effective July 1, 2016.

As an update to the VGM submission methods for cargo originating from United States load ports, the U.S. Coast Guard has determined that existing U.S. laws for providing verified container weights are equivalent to the requirements under SOLAS. 

Carriers are starting to announce their acceptance of this method of compliance, and that they are actively working through the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) group, along with other key industry stakeholders, to clearly define an applicable process for both local and intermodal on-dock rail cargo in line with this development.

The announcements received today indicate the following changes:

VGM for Cargo Accepted via Terminal Gate:

Based on the U.S. Coast Guard’s declared equivalency, confirming that the existing terminal weighing practice for on-dock scales in the United States is compliant with SOLAS regulation, all U.S. marine terminals can now arrive at a VGM using terminal scales. As such, Carriers will accept the current terminal weighing practice to arrive at a VGM as a condition for stowing onto the vessel, where the terminal will provide the VGM to the Carrier through data transmission channels established.  

VGM for Cargo Accepted at the Terminal via On-Dock Rail: 

At this time, the Carriers are working within the OCEMA regulatory counsel and stakeholders across the industry regarding the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act (ISCTA) as it relates to VGM. Once talks have concluded, we will communicate further details on VGM guidelines for export on-dock rail in the United States.

Calculating a VGM:

Should shippers still wish to submit the VGM to DGX prior to terminal gate-in, you may use one of following methods to determine the VGM:

Method 1 - Weighing the fully loaded container after it has been packed. 

Method 2 - Weighing the contents of the container, including cargo and any packing materials, and then adding that to the tare weight of the container printed on its outside. If using Method 2, we recommend checking the tare weight printed on the outside of your container. 

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.