IMO has decided to make it mandatory to weigh loaded containers before they are transported by sea. This will enhance safety and prevent pollution of the marine environment.
In the future, loaded containers must not be taken on board a ship until their weight has been determined. This was decided by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at last week’s meeting. The correct weight – the so-called verified weight – can be determined in two ways. You can either weigh the loaded container at an approved weighing station or you can ensure that the individual items in the container are weighed and added to the container’s net weight.
Denmark has been one of the initiators of the new stricter requirements on the weighing of containers and has persistently maintained that mandatory regulations should be introduced for reasons of safety.
Since the freight rate depends on the weight, it has not been easy to get the provisions in place. But now there is a general understanding that incorrect data may result in container stacks collapsing, containers falling over board and ship accidents as a consequence of overloaded ships. The fact that container ships are becoming larger and larger has contributed to an improved understanding of the problems.
The new international regulations take effect on 1 June 2016.
Among other especially interesting items on the agenda were the following:
- Approval of the IGF Code.
- Passenger ship safety.
- The Polar Code.
A summary of the most important issues considered at the meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee is available here.
Source: The Maritime Executive