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The weighing of shipping containers and the SOLAS programme - 15/06/2016

The weighing of shipping containers and the SOLAS programme

From July 2016 onwards, shippers will be required to weigh and declare the gross mass of their containers before these are transferred to the ship owner at the departure terminal under the terms of the new version of the international SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea). The requirements of the SOLAS Convention concerning container weight verification will therefore apply from this summer.

Full containers will only be accepted for loading onto ships to which the SOLAS Convention applies on condition that their Verified Gross Mass has been supplied to the captain of the ship or his representative and to the terminal or its representative. The shippers are also obliged to carry out the weighing of all shipping containers before these are transferred to the ship owner. The shipper therefore has responsibility for establishing the Verified Gross Mass and declaring this to the ocean carrier. This information must be supplied sufficiently far in advance to allow for the preparation of the loading plan.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) proposes two methods, both certified as compliant, for declaring the Verified Gross Mass (VGM). According to the regulations, one of the two approved methods must be used to declare the gross weight:

Download Template Document Shipment Declaration for Full containers (FCL)
Download Template Document Shipment Declaration for Full container (FCL)
Téléchargez un modèle type de déclaration d'expédition pour marchandises (Groupage - LCL)
Download Template Document Shipment Declaration for Goods (Consolidation - LCL)
The actual weight of the container including the tare weight when the merchandise is packed.
The weight of all the merchandise including the packaging and the tare weight of the container.


In this second case, the weighing method must be approved by the state in which the container was filled. Identical for all member states, the procedure involves weighing the merchandise, the packaging and the items present in the container or obtaining this information from the manufacturers then adding the tare weight when empty, as indicated on the container door. The decree provides for a tolerance of ±5% in the French ports between the declared mass of the container and its true mass. There is no obligation to have the methods certified but in the event of an inspection or of an incorrect declaration, particularly following an accident or incident, the shipper must present evidence to justify his calculations. For further information, please consult the FAQ concerning container weight published by the World Shipping Council.


>> FAQ published by the World Shipping Council.

Newsletter Centrimex May 2016 - 31/05/2016

Newsletter Centrimex May 2016

Since the dawn of the 21st century, the theme of collaborative logistics has been a popular subject at the Supply Chain shows in Paris. This often concerns concepts lacking operational implementation and sometimes also concrete solutions. In the case of the new SOLAS Convention which includes the weighing of containers, it concerns mostly land-to-sea solution. Faced with new responsibilities now incumbent upon container shippers, cooperation between the various players in the logistics chain is of the utmost important.

According to the method used to determine the container weight and the type of service involved (full FCL container, custom container, groupage service, etc.) it is essential that the various participants in the export process, contractors, suppliers or shipping sites, transport organisers and owner-operators introduce a reliable and coherent communication system in compliance with the regulations and its tolerance limits.

Fully aware of the risks and challenges these new restrictions entail for their clients, CENTRIMEX’s teams will ensure a high degree of vigilance and transparency for the implementation of the SOLAS Convention in the summer of 2016.


>> Read Newsletter

Free Trade Agreements, preferential and non-preferential origin - 05/04/2016

Free Trade Agreements, preferential and non-preferential origin

The recent (2011) agreements between the European Union and South Korea, which in some cases require Approved Exporter status, as well as the famous transatlantic agreement with the United States that seems to nourish many a dream, and the free trade agreements currently under negotiation with Canada, Japan and about fifty other countries are all likely to alter the global customs landscape and its rules of the game.

Centrimex’s experts in customs regulations explain preferential and non-preferential origins of a product and the rules governing them. Every product has always one and one only non-preferential origin. This is the famous «made in» label we are all familiar with. But we should remind you that the “made in France” label no longer has any meaning in customs terms and that goods that have been produced in France are given the non-preferential origin «European Union».

As no agreement has yet been reached at the WTO (World Trade Organisation), there is no specific universal obligation to label products with their non-preferential origin. However, specific rules may occasionally exist depending on the country of destination. Conversely, once a company has chosen to mark the origin of its products, it must conform to WTO origin marking requirements and to the Community Customs Code.

A product’s preferential origin may or may not exist, may be manifold and may differ according to free trade or unilateral agreements signed by the European Union. So potentially there may be a preferential origin by agreement. Usually the preferential origin and non-preferential origin are identical but this is not always the case, depending mainly on the agreement cumulation rules.

Preferential origin is primarily used to determine the level of awareness of customs duties when importing into the European Union or exporting to the country of destination, based on a «product/country» pair. In order to qualify for preferential origin, it may be necessary to obtain origin declarations, also known as «long-term declarations», from suppliers of components or raw materials, for example.

Approved Exporter Status enables a company to issue origin/invoice declarations for all its products and therefore avoid documents such as the EUR.1 certificate.

Centrimex’s customs experts will be happy to provide you with more detailed information concerning the rules of origin and the measures pertaining to them.

Authorised economic operator
Authorised agent
Agreed customs agent


>> Ours Certifications

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