Frequently asked questions
Everything you really need to know about our services
- As a shipper, what are my two methods of acquiring VGM?
Method 1: Take a loaded container over a weighbridge then subtract all weight not associated with the container (i.e. the weight of the truck, chassis, driver and fuel) to get the weight of the packed container.
Method 2: Add the weight of the container and all other items/cargo that are loaded into the container - including its packaging, palleting, dunnage and all otherpacking and securing materials.
- As a shipper what am i required to do?
- Provide a document, paper or electronic, signed by you the shipper tothe shipping line declaring that you can verify the weight and that it was weighed using one of the two methods allowed.
- What happens if no VGM is supplied?
- From 1 July 2016 it will be illegal for shipping lines and terminal operators to load containers onto the ship without a VGM. Therefore, the container will not be loadead if a VGM cannot be shown.
- When does the new VGM regulations take place?
- The new regulations is effective from July 1st , 2016.
- Who requires the new rules?
- IMO's international convention for the safety of life at sea (SOLAS) requires that every container's gross mass is verified with a signature, and submitted to the carrier in time to be used in the ship’s stowplan. Please confer with your carrier regarding their exact deadlines.
- In which countries does VGM apply?
- The requirements apply in all 171 IMO member countries, and the 3 associated members.
- Who is responsible for the VGM?
- The shipper is responsible to obtain and document the verified gross mass of a packed container. The carrier is responsible to obtain the verified gross mass of the container in advance of vessel loading.
- Is a container allowed on a vessel without VGM?
- No, a container must have a VGM.
- Is there an agreed format to communicate verified gross mass?
- SOLAS does not mandate any particular form of communication between the parties exchanging the verified gross mass information. Subject to any additional national requirements, the information provided by the shipper is the same for both Method 1 and Method 2, being the verified gross mass of the packed container, conspicuously identified as such, signed and dated by the shipper or a person duly authorized by the shipper.
- Does cargo have to be re-weighed if there is a change of vessel?
- No, VGM is only required at the time of original load from July 1, 2016 and forward. If the shipment is being transferred to another vessel, initial VGM will be used at the transshipment port (this process will be managed between carriers).
- Is the VGM regulation new?
- The new regulation simply re-instates the existing rule which obliges the shippers to provide the correct container weight. What is new is that containers are not allowed to be loaded onto vessels any longer unless the weights are verified.
- Why is exact VGM important for shipping lines?
- It is important to make sure that the vessels are stowed correctly in order to prevent accidents both at sea and in ports.
- What if the new regulations are not followed?
- Containers which will be loaded onto vessels after 1st of July 2016 and which are not weight verified may not be covered by the shipping line’s maritime insurance. The vessel may not be considered sea worthy. The shipping line therefore have a vital interest to load only containers which are weight verified.
- Is there a deadline for when the information must be received by the carrier and the terminal operator?
- Verified gross mass is required in order to prepare the stowage plan of the ship prior to loading. Deadlines will differ according to a number of factors; shippers should obtain information on documentary cut-off times from their carriers in advance of shipment. It is recognized that ‘just in time’ shipments will need specific coordination between the shipper and carrier to ensure that the objectives of SOLAS are met and the verified gross mass for such shipments is communicated and used in the ship stowage plan.
- Can containers without VGM be accepted by the terminal?
- Yes, terminal will accept full container gate in without VGM. However, terminal will not consider containers without VGM for stowage planning (BAPLIE) and loading.
- What if I have trouble paying on the website?
Use our support site: http://cmp-vgm.com/support/ and select the issue as as urgent. We will contact you as soon as possible.
- I can’t find my container in your website (using the search)
- Most likely your container hasn’t arrived in port yet. So we haven’t been able to weigh the container. Only after the container has been weighed does it get added to our VGM system and your VGM certificate becomes available. We highly recommend you click on 'Send Update Upon Arrival” and add your email address. You will get an update when your container VGM is in our system
- I can’t make a payment (I’m stuck) for my VGM
- We try to offer as many payment possibilities as possible. In the most unlikely case that you can’t make a payment please contact us via the contact form on the support page. We will work with you to see how we can help organize a payment method that works for you.
- Can you update me when my container VGM is in the system?
- Sorry we can’t track so many container ID’s manually. We offer an automatic update service which is called ‘send update upon arrival’. Here you can add your email so you get an update when it arrives.
- I would like to pre-pay for a certain amount of certificates?
Yes this is possible. To pre-order VGM certificates you need to have an account with us. You can create an account on this page. If you already have an account. You will see in your account information the amount of prepaid VGMs you have. If you are new to our site and have never ordered VGM certificates before please contact support. They will help you setup prepaid VGMs.
- I can only pay with a banktransfer?
- To can not directly order VGM certificates via a banktransfer. You can however order prepaid VGM certificates via a banktransfer. As soon as we have received the money from your bank, your account is credited with those prepaid VGM certificates. Now during check-out you can simply select ‘prepaid VGMs’ and it will be deducted from your account. If you run low simply add more prepaid VGMs