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ALERTS & ​ADVISORIES

SOLAS Amendment Announcement

May 5, 2016

As you may be aware, amendments to the International Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea (“SOLAS”), will go into effect globally on July 1, 2016.

The recent amendment, which was adopted by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, requires that a shipper verify the gross mass (Verified Gross Mass or VGM) of a container’s cargo/contents to the underlying carrier and terminal operator. While carriers, terminals and shippers alike will be affected by the new rules, the burden will primarily rest with shippers to provide the VGM.

Without a VGM, the amendments prohibit the vessel operator from loading a packed container.

As stated, from July 1st, the weight of the container and the cargo contained therein must be documented. Estimated weights are not allowed.
​There are two options permissible in determining the weight or Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the cargo and container.

They are as follows:

Method 1: Weighing
After it has been completely packed and sealed, the container can be weighed. The weighing can be performed by the shipper or by a third party contracted by the shipper (please refer to Chapter 5.11 of the SOLAS guideline).

Any scale, weighbridge, lifting equipment or other devices used to verify the gross mass of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).

Method 2: Calculating
All packages and cargo items may be weighed individually (including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material) and must be added to the tare of the container visible on the exterior of the container (please refer to Chapter 5.1.2 of the SOLAS guideline).

The method used for weighing the container’s content is subject to the certification an approval as determined by the competent authority of the state in which the packing and sealing of the container were completed (please refer to Chapter 5.1.2.3 of the SOLAS guideline).
Any weighing equipment used to weigh the contents of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).

There is currently no single document uniformly determined to be acceptable to verify the weight. Rather, the information can come via a weight certificate, separate documentation, or part of the shipping instructions.The amendment states that “irrespective of its form,” the document declaring the VGM should be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper.

For shipper loaded FCL containers, JAS Forwarding requires a VGM from the shipper. Upon request, JAS Forwarding can have the container and content weighed at an outside weigh station.

Unless JAS Forwarding arranged the weighing of the container or has a weight certificate from an independent authority, JAS Forwarding will require a VGM certification from the shipper, prior to the carrier VGM cut off. The VGM cut off will be provided by the carrier at the time of booking.

JAS unless otherwise notified in writing, will ensure that the VGM is communicated to the carrier by one of the following methods:

  • EDI message (VERMAS, or for example a 304 message)
  • Portal Service (INTTRA, Nexus, CargoSmart, other)
  • Through the Ocean Carrier’s web portal specifically designed to accept VGM
  • Alternative methods to be determined by the Ocean Carrier

The carrier itself is not obliged to cross-check the VGM received. Independent of the party verifying and sending the VGM, it remains the responsibility of the shipper that the carrier and terminal operator receive the information in time.

Once the Ocean Carrier receives the VGM, the Shipper’s responsibilities are complete.

It is unclear yet what stance of the various Ports and Terminals will take globally. Some have announced that they will not accept containers into the terminal unless a VGM has already been submitted. Some have announced that they will accept containers but will be unable to weigh them, and others have confirmed that upon request, they will be able to weigh the container.

However, it is clear that if the VGM is not received by the VGM cut off, the container cannot be loaded on to the vessel.

As we get closer to the deadline, and industry groups coalesce into creating common forms, we will provide the documentation for the shipper’s certification.

Relevant Documents can be found below

Official SOLAS GuidelineStatus of national legislationsGuidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo
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Located in the center of southeast Asia, Thailand is the second-biggest economy in ASEAN and a major global tourism destination. This dynamic and consumer-driven market is increasing its demand for imported food and beverages, offering many opportunities for Italian exporters. JAS Thailand is proud to launch a weekly air freight consolidation for perishable goods from Italy, catering to the demanding needs of the most reputable hotels and restaurants of the country. We carry perishable goods such as fresh fish, meat, cheese, vegetables, and also ‘super’ fresh cheese (like mozzarella or burrata) and frozen foods to Bangkok.

This JAS AIR Service features the following benefits:

  • Weekly departure on world class carrier
  • Airport to Airport transit time : 11 hours
  • Flexible processes oriented to provide customers tailor-made solutions
  • Integral/integrated : JAS can complement air portion with Origin (pick up/warehouse/consolidation/customs brokerage) value added service solutions to ensure the smoothest release at destination.

Please visit JAS Thailand country website and / or reach out to thsales@jas.com for more information.

JAS Italy has been active in the alcoholic beverages industry for decades and has demonstrated its ability to deliver superior logistic solutions to exporters and importers during that time.

Overseas market specialists, together with the JAS Florence Wine & Spirits team, along with colleagues deployed at JAS offices in wine producing regions provide dedicated competitive services to suit customers’ demands in Italy and various continents.

JAS offers state of the art airfreight services for wine, dry & reefer buyers consolidations at optimized costs, temperature management expertise, insulation services for air and sea consignments, and JAS' own LCL/LCL containers to selected destinations.

From Veneto, Tuscany, Refosco, Piedmonte, Abruzzo, Calabria…from all producing regions…Prosecco, Chianti, Barolo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Aglianico, Fruili, and all other Italian wines are shipped with care for our customers.

JAS Italy together with destination offices colleagues ensure that the Italian flag for Wine & Spirits services solutions is raised on selected markets.

In today’s environment, shippers are faced with numerous challenges, from the immediate need to replenish drastically reduced inventory levels to budgeting logistics costs in a highly unpredictable environment. Blank sailings, carrier solvency, and steadily building port congestion is resulting in increased supply chain risk and lead time fluctuations. Global air cargo capacity has been reduced by over 25% making access to space more constrained due to overall demand and increased dwell time due to testing and customs inspections of PPE goods.

JAS is working closely with our customers to offer solutions that balance planning with responsiveness and agility, while working to provide service options that mitigate the increased costs and risks that exist with current market conditions.

Our Flight Operations solutions address the immediate and urgent needs of our customers. We have scheduled weekly flights from the following areas:

China to the USA with connections to Latin America

Europe to the USA with connections to Latin America

USA to Europe

China to Europe

Additional flights will be added as needed.

JAS SEA-AIR services provide an alternative solution to customers requiring shorter lead times than traditional ocean freight while providing a lower cost option to air freight. We currently offer hubs in Singapore and Korea that connect Asia with the rest of the world.

​For traditional ocean FCL and LCL services, our ocean team aligns our carrier allocations and schedules with our customers’ forecasts. Services such as container and order management offer additional value to our standard ocean freight services.

​While our current priority is to work with your immediate needs, we do not want to lose sight of the need for long-term planning strategies so please contact us at info@jas.com or reach out to your local JAS representative for more information.

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