SOLAS Container Weight Verification – New Legalities From 1st July 2016

New SOLAS weighing regulations

As a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) has been amended by The International Maritime Organization (IMO), to require that the container has a verified weight.
From 1st July, 2016, it will be an unlawful violation of SOLAS, for shippers to load a packed container onto a vessel without the vessel operator and marine terminal operator being provided with a verified container weight.

The World Shipping Council provides the following basic principles of the new SOLAS legal requirements:

A) – Before a packed container can be loaded onto a ship, its weight must be determined through weighing. It is a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container aboard a vessel to which SOLAS applies without a proper weight verification. There is no exception to this requirement.

• In the absence of a shipper providing a verified gross mass of a packed container, that container “shall not be loaded on to the ship”. SOLAS Chapter VI, Regulation 2, paragraph 6. The IMO Guidelines, paragraph 4.2, also state: “A container packed with packages and cargo items should not be loaded onto a ship to which the SOLAS regulations apply unless the master or his representative and the terminal representative have obtained, in advance of vessel loading, the verified actual gross mass of the container.”
• Packed containers for which a verified weight was provided prior to loading in a preceding load port may be loaded in trans-shipment ports without having to have their weights re-verified if the port terminal in the trans-shipment port has been advised of this by the operator of the arriving vessel.

B) – Under the SOLAS amendments, there are two permissible methods for weighing:

• Weighing the container after it has been packed.
• Weighing all the cargo and contents of the container and adding those weights to the container’s tare weight as indicated on the door end of the container.

C) – Estimating weight is not permitted.

• The shipper (or a third party by arrangement of the shipper), has a responsibility to weigh the packed container or to weigh its contents.
The weighing equipment used must meet national certification and calibration requirements. Further, the party packing the container cannot use the weight somebody else has provided, except in one specific set of defined circumstances.

These requirements will apply globally. Shippers, freight forwarders, vessel operators, and terminal operators will all need to establish policies and procedures to ensure the implementation of this regulatory change.


We can provide simple cost effective solutions to help you either: 1) weigh the packed container, or 2): weigh & total each item before loading into the container.

Method 1) – The Container is placed on 4x Weigh Pads and loaded. Once packed, the weight can be confirmed and the weight information printed on a Tally Printer or stored on a USB Memory Stick.
Method 2) – Using a Platform Scale, Pallet Truck Scale or On board Fork Lift Truck Scale attachment, each item/pallet can be weighed before loading into the container. The weight can then be stored in the memory and each weighing accumulated until the container is packed and the weight then totalled. As with method one, the weight data can be printed on a Tally printer or stored on a USB Memory Stick, showing each individual weighing and the total weight of consignments loaded into container.

For independent information and trusted advice on complying with the amended SOLAS regulations (enforced from 1st July);
Call us now on 01282 691602 or email us at: [email protected]