The Cebu Port Authority (CPA) has issued a new policy revising the implementation of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention verified gross mass (VGM) requirement at Cebu ports, designating an authorized cargo-handling service provider to conduct the mandatory weighing.
CPA said it made the amendment in line with CPA Board Resolution No. 489-2016 adopted on August 24, and “in response to some concerns raised by port stakeholders” on the implementation of AO 01-2016.
AO 02-2016 covers all packed export containers for loading onto ships at the Cebu International Port (CIP), and all ships carrying export containers that are docked either at the CIP or at other ports within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority.
Under the new rule, “upon delivery of the shipper’s packed outbound container to the CIP for receiving/gate-in, the same shall undergo mandatory weighing in accordance with and for the purposes mentioned in CPA Administrative Order No. 01-2008 (Policy and Guidelines for Mandatory Weighing of Loaded Outbound Foreign Container Vans) dated 28 February 2008, by the truck scale facility/facilities of the CHSP (cargo-handling service provider) servicing foreign cargoes at the CIP which is/are duly authorized by the authority.”
The weight of the container as determined through mandatory weighing under AO 01-2008 will be considered as the VGM to be used for stowage purposes by the shipping lines and the CHSP; hence, the weight should also be furnished to the CHSP and shipping lines.
The previous rule under AO 01-2016 required the shipper to obtain the VGM and submit it to the shipping line and CHSP before the container is allowed entry to CIP. The old rule also required the container to undergo weighing upon entering the port, pursuant to AO 01-2008, so the shipper-declared VGM can be verified.
AO 02-2016 also orders that the VGM of the packed outbound container should appear on an all-weather, heavy-duty sticker on the container, signed by the shipper or the authorized representative.
The cost of weighing a packed container for VGM determination, including the cost of the sticker to be provided by the authorized weighing facility at CPA ports, will be shouldered by the shipper, the new rule states.
The CPA general manager may also issue supplementary guidelines “as may be necessary for the effective implementation of this order or as may be necessary to comply with relevant IMO (International Maritime Organization) standards and requirements.”
Persons or entities that violate CAO 02-2016 will have their issued permit or accreditation suspended or revoked without need of judicial proceedings after due notice and hearing.
Effective last July 1, the amendment to the SOLAS Chapter IV, Part A, Regulation 2, requires shippers to verify the VGM of a packed container and indicate this to the carrier or port operator before the shipment is loaded onto the vessel. – Roumina Pablo