Container weight – New liability risks for forwarders

The amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) entered into force on 1 July 2016.

The changes provide for verification of the gross weight of the packed container (Verified Gross Mass). This entails risks for forwarders.

SOLAS: Container weight must be verified

Since 1 July 2016, shipping companies are no longer allowed to load containers without a correspondingly transmitted certified gross total weight.

The shipper is responsible for the respective transmission of the total weight. If the freight forwarder himself acts as a shipper, he thus bears a high risk, as he often has to rely on the weight transmitted by the principal without weighing the container himself.

If the weight transmitted is incorrect and the container is not loaded for this reason, the freight forwarder is responsible for late delivery of the container or for any costs incurred (demurrage, terminal charges, etc.).

The freight forwarder should therefore, if he himself is responsible for the Verified Gross Mass, secure himself against his customers in this respect.

If you have any questions on how to limit your risk with Verified Gross Mass, please do not hesitate to contact us or call us on 040 / 369615-0
Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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