English 中文       Shipping Guide       Contact PIL                  

Dated: 10th June 2016



Background by SOLAS

To ensure the safety of the ship, the safety of workers both aboard ships and ashore, the safety of cargo and overall safety at sea, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended, requires in chapter VI, part A, regulation 2 that packed containers' gross mass are verified prior to stowage aboard ship.

With effect from 1st July 2016, the shipper is responsible for the verification of the gross mass of a container carrying cargo (hereinafter "a packed container"). The shipper is also responsible for ensuring that the verified gross mass is communicated in the shipping documents sufficiently in advance to be used by the ship's master or his representative and the terminal representative in the preparation of the ship stowage plan.

In the absence of the shipper providing the verified gross mass of the packed container, the container should not be loaded on to the ship unless the master or his representative and the terminal representative have obtained the verified gross mass through other means.

Please refer to the guidelines for improving safety and implementation the SOLAS container weight verification requirements:

IMO Safety Committee

World Shipping Council

What is Verified Gross Mass (VGM)?

VGM is the total gross mass of a packed container. It comprises of the cargo weight, the weight of the packaging materials used and the container tare weight.

Methods to be used for VGM declaration

Following are the two methods offered by the SOLAS Convention :

Method 1 – Weighing

The packed container to be weighed at the weighbridge, scale, lifting equipment or any other device that meets the accuracy standards and requirements of the State.

Method 2 – Calculating

All packages/items loaded into the container to be weighed individually. The weight of the packaging materials such as dunnage, pallets and materials used for securing the cargo in the container to be included.

The tare weight of the container to be included (the tare weight can be found on the CSC plate on door of the container and or via online enquiry on through www.pilship.com )

Who is Responsible to declare VGM?

The shipper named in the Bill of Lading is responsible for the VGM. The signatory of the VGM declaration must be duly authorized by the shipper.

When to submit the VGM?

VGM submission must be provided to PIL in writing via email attachment on a standard form or via the standard EDI format, known as VERMAS prior to the stipulated cut-off date/time. The cut-off date/time may vary from country to country and port to port. It is therefore important for shippers to obtain the cut-off date/time from the local offices/booking offices.

Methods to submit VGM data information to PIL

The following methods are available for submission to PIL:

  • Shippers can submit their VGM in our standard Microsoft Excel format to our email address:  VGM@sgp.pilship.com.
    The excel worksheet is available on our website (www.pilship.com).

    Please note that the stated email address is an auto update function and no personnel will be manning. As such, it is Shipper's responsibility to ensure that accurate information is provided.

    Shipper will receive a return email for confirmation on the successful VGM submission.

  • PIL accept submission of VGM data in a standard EDIFACT message known as the VERMAS format. Shippers can send the data to the Email address: VGM@sgp.pilship.com.

    Shipper will receive a return email for confirmation on the successful VGM submission.

  • PIL accept VERMAS data via portal (eg INTTRA, CargoSmart, GTNexus). Please approach our local agent if you are opting this method of submission.

  • Manual submission: PIL strongly encourage the shipper to use submission A to C described above. However, should it be required, shipper can send VGM declaration in our PIL standard VGM declaration form to our agent via email or fax.

IMPORTANT:  Please be reminded that PIL will not accept any VGM declaration verbally through phone call or voice call. VGM declaration send via social media such as SMS, Whatsapp, WeChat etc is not acceptable.

Consequences if VGM is not available or is inaccurate

PIL is prohibited to load the container onto the vessel without VGM.

The shipper will be liable for any cost that may arise (but not limited to weighing costs, shut out cost, storage cost levied by the local authorities/terminals, demurrage and other administrative costs).

PIL Container Weights

To assist our shippers in VGM declaration, the tare weight of our containers can be obtained from our website (www.pilship.com).

It can be found in the Sub menu under Our Equipment named "Container Specification" Below "Pop Out Screen" is for user to enter container number followed by action button to display the info. (Click here)

By complying with SOLAS Convention, PIL remain committed to the safety of our seafarers, the environment, your cargo and our vessels.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

Please contact PIL local agent or visit our website (www.pilship.com) for the latest VGM information.