SOLAS Regulations

The mandatory amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V1, Part A, Regulation 2, which were promulgated in the Marine Notice No 5 of 2016 and which came into force on 1 July 2016, place a responsibility on shippers to provide the verified gross mass of a packed container to the carrier or their terminal representative prior to being loaded on board a ship.

Prescribed Methods

The SOLAS regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container, namely:

  • Method 1

    Upon the conclusion of packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged that a third party weighs the packed container.
  • Method 2

    The shipper (or by arrangement of the shipper, a third party) may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses using a certified method.

Selecting method two

The use of method 2 is subject to the certification and approval as determined by the competent authority of the State in which packing and sealing of the container was completed. Within South Africa the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is listed as the competent authority. SAMSA have however opted to outsource this function and accredit third parties to conduct an assessment of the shipper’s documented process for verifying the gross mass of a container using Method 2.

PPECB is an accredited VGM assessor

In line with the above the PPECB has been appointed as a third party to act on behalf of SAMSA to approve shippers using method 2 to verify the gross mass of a packed and sealed container (South Africa Maritime Safety Authority Marine Notice 19 of 2016). With a national footprint the PPECB is able to provide verified gross mass (VGM) assessment services to shippers across South Africa.

  • Registration Process

    If you are using method 2 to pack your containers, and you require approval and certification, please consult the below application process to register with the PPECB.

  • Audit Procedure

    For detailed information on the purpose and process of the Audit please see below.