SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea)

SOLAS Gross Container Weight (GCW) Verification Requirement for Spain

Dear customer,

Following our previous communication on the implementation of the new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) requirements for container weight verification, we would like to provide you with more details about this requirement applicable to Spain.

As previously announced, as of July 1, 2016, every container for export requires the Verified Gross Weight (VGM) as a condition to be loaded on a vessel.

Who has to submit the net weight?

According to the SOLAS requirement, the shipper indicated on the B/L will be the party responsible for providing the VGM to the shipping line and the terminal operator.

How do I calculate the verified net weight?

The shipper can use one of the following two methods to determine the VGM:

  • Method 1 – Weigh the container completely full after it has been loaded.
  • Method 2 – Weigh the contents of the container, including the cargo and any cargo material, and then add the empty container weight printed on the container door.

What is the “No VGM”, no entry policy?

Some terminals may adopt an additional protection known as the “No VGM, No Entry” policy. It is important to emphasize that following the “No VGM, No Entry” policy is the decision of and will be enforced by the terminal and/or government agency.

This policy will prevent a loaded container from entering the terminal when it lacks a VGM.

What are the consequences of not presenting the VGM before the cut-off date?

  • If the terminal at the port of loading has adopted a “No VGM, No Entry” policy, the container may be refused entry. Additional costs may be incurred for transportation (truck) or waiting time to present the VGM before it can be accepted for entry.
  • As stated above, no container will be loaded on board a vessel without the VGM. Delays in loading may impact the smoothness of the supply chain if a container is not loaded when scheduled because the VGM is not available. In addition, other potential demurrage or detention surcharges may apply when the container is idle at the terminal awaiting presentation of the VGM.
  • In the event that a container is loaded on a vessel without the VGM by mistake, any transshipment port may refuse to move this container. As a result, the vessel or container may be subject to demurrage or be detained at the transshipment terminal.

Is a signature required when presenting the VGM to the carrier?

  • Yes, signature is required.
  • The VGM must be submitted in English.

We will keep you informed about the implementation of this SOLAS requirement.

You can download this information in PDF here: