June 13, 2016

Weighing Container, now an obligation

In 30 days, it will change the mode of shipping containers: the obligation of the shipper to certify the gross weight of export containers officially starts on 1 July.


This new requirement arises from the need to increase the safety of the ship and its crew, port operations and the loads as well as for the prevention of pollution and for the environmental care. Because accidents are caused by the mistaken declared weight of the containers. Very few times this weight declared is controlled by the terminal (and never by the ship) being frequent the difference between the declared weight and the actual weight.

Today, Shippers inform the carrier the weight of the container, which normally is not found in any instance. Then, the shipping company designs stowage plan taking into account, the weight informed them when choosing their location on the vessel and calculating the stability that will provide security throughout their journey.


Under the agreement there are two methods of weighing the container. One is weighing the container already loaded, and another weighing all the packages and items then adding the weight of the timber and lashing elements, the weight of the pallets and the tare weight of the empty container.

Should use scales calibrated and certified by the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), which automatically issue a voucher or ticket containing: name weighing, date and time, number identification proof, container number, its tare, balance certificate number and expiring date. Argentine rules accept a margin of error of up to 5%.


In our country, those shippers who opt for the second method of partial sum of weights must meet the 1st annex to the arrangement of the disposition 1/16 of the Police Safety of Navigation of the Argentina Naval Prefecture, in Article 8.1. It requires the registration of the issuing company at that institution. At the time of this note, there are no companies registered with the maritime authority.

Within 30 days no captain will accept in their your ship a container that does not meet the requirements of the amendment, not by the inconsistency of the data to calculate the ship’s stability, but because it would be violating the Solas convention, with the consequent loss class of his ship and fall of the validity of their certificates.

While shippers are the ones behind the loop, the port terminals in Buenos Aires are taking steps forward to this new demand with the implementation of approved scales. While export containers entering the terminal must be accompanied now also by the “verified gross mass certificate”, otherwise, they will be compulsorily weighed, charging the service at between 20 and 30 dollars each container.

Mutual agreement

Although this may result not nice, its imposition is given by the international community as a result of the most important agreement about navigational safety. National authorities have nothing to do with this new obligation of shippers and there is absolutely no way to avoid it.



In recent years we remember the sinking of the container ship Deneb, more precisely in 2011, of which 150 containers, weighing 241 tons more than the amount declared by their owners. In 2013, in Yemen, MOL Comfort ship broke in two while sailing, losing 4293 containers, producing of course, environmental damage from spills.


Therefore, beyond producing a debate on this provision, we have to save that for workers in the industry, is greater security when sailing.

Source: The Nation


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