The International Maritime Organization is discussing a draft amendment that will make mandatory a certified process for the verification of the weight of every loaded container. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC), the European and international Freight Forwarders associations (FIATA and CLECAT) and the European representation of maritime terminals and stevedores (FEPORT) comment as follows:
"The safety of those involved in the supply chain is of paramount importance to these associations; a focus on best practice which results in improved safety in the chain should reflect equally positively on the level of performance and productivity in the chain. However, the proposed container weight verification requirement is in the view of the associations ineffective.
The associations believe that additional legislation will not have any significant effect on container safety in transport overseas. Instead the organizations believe that the need for weighing should be based on a proper risk analysis of the quality of the data transferred between shipping lines, shippers and customs authorities.
Also, many questions are left unanswered as to how post-treatment of infringements should be dealt with and who is responsible for the onward effects on the operations of the port . The current proposal suggests that the terminal operator is responsible for ensuring that every loaded container on board of a ship has a weight certificate. In conclusion, the associations do not believe specific regulation mandating verification of the gross weight of cargo is required. Adding guidance within the relevant sections of the SOLAS Convention (i.e. VI/2 and VI/5.5) would be sufficient."