New regulations will come into force from 1st July 2016 (SOLAS VI Regulation 2), which will expand on how the gross mass of cargo and container tare weights must be verified. The changes in the rules are as a result of incidents, reports and concerns from the carriers that the actual weight of cargo is often different to the declared weight, thus putting lives and equipment in danger whilst at sea and in port. From 1st July, the Shipper will be responsible to provide the carrier/forwarder with a Verified Gross Mass (VGM), and therefore can no longer estimate to give an approximate weight.
Air pollutant emissions from maritime transport where cargo is transported over long distances, contribute to the air quality problems in the EU. The findings from ‘The Thematic Strategy 2005’ concluded that sulphur emissions from shipping were forecast to exceed those from all land-based sources by 2020.