How can we help you?
If you are not yet familiar with SOLAS, VGM or the CertiWeight weighing and VGM submission processes, maybe the answers to these questions can help.
Otherwise, please use our chat service to ask us your question!
What is SOLAS?
Safety Of Life At Sea
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is the most important international treaty for safety at sea and came into being in 1914 in response to the Titanic disaster in 1912. Since 1954 SOLAS has come under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Before a container can be loaded onto a ship, the weight must be determined. A verified weight is a condition for loading. No verified weight means that the container will not be loaded.
Estimated weight is not sufficient. The shipper must weigh or must ensure that the loaded container or its contents are weighed.
What is the VGM?
Verified Gross Mass, or VGM, is the weight of the cargo including dunnage and bracing plus the tare weight of the container carrying this cargo. SOLAS requires the shipper to provide VGM in a “shipping document,” either as part of the shipping instruction or in a separate communication, before vessel loading.
There are 2 permitted methods to obtain the VGM:
Method 1: the actual weighing of the loaded container
Method 2: weighing and aggregating all loading parts (goods, pallets, stowage, container tare weight, etc.)
The legislation has set margins within which the weight may deviate.
SOLAS allows a maximum tolerance of 5% on the total weight of the container. Each individual country may determine its own margin.
Who is reponsible for the VGM?
It is the shipper’s responsibility to provide the VGM declaration to the ocean line for the export container to be shipped by the ocean line. This declaration can be provided in paper or electronic form.
CertiWeight takes care of the entire process, digitally, and takes responsibility for the accuracy of the weight - when weighed at a CertiWeight or CertiWeight partner location - as well as the VGM submission process.
How much does a weighing/VGM cost?
If you want to weigh at a CertiWeight site...
Standard container: €39
Non-standard equipment: €156
If you want to weigh at a partner location...
Standard container: €39
Non-standard equipment: contact partner location!
How can I purchase a VGM certificate? the process
- Weigh at a CertiWeight location
Send your driver to weigh at one of our locations. The weight is automatically sent to Avantida.
- Register or login to Avantida
- Search for your container
Enter the container number in the search field at the right side of the Avantida platform screen.
- Click on "View/Purchase" next to your container
You can review the data and correct some (not all) of the data if necessary
- Purchase the VGM
From the moment you have purchased your VGM it will be submitted to the corresponding ocean line
What data can I still change once the container has been weighed?
At the weighing location, your driver needs to enter some information about the container in order to weigh and generate the right VGM certificate. However, if some of the data is erroneous, you can still correct the following data:
- Booking reference
- Ocean line
- Shipper information
You can NOT edit container number or seal number!