SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea)

Important amendments become effective on 1. July 2016


What is it all about?

Guidelines regarding the Verified Gross Mass of a container carrying cargo


To ensure the safety of the ship, the safety of workers both aboard ships and ashore, the safety of cargo and overall safety at sea, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended, requires in chapter VI, part A, regulation 2 that packed containers' gross mass are verified prior to stowage aboard ship.


The SOLAS amendments become effective on 1 July 2016 for packed containers received for transportation by sea.

What does this amendment mean?

A container packed with packages and cargo items should not be loaded onto a ship to

which the SOLAS regulations apply unless the master or his representative and the terminal

representative have been provided with, in advance of vessel loading, the verified actual gross mass of the container


How  to obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container

The SOLAS regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the

verified gross mass of a packed container.


Method 1:

Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment


Method 2:

Weighing all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other

securing material to be packed in the container and adding the tare mass of the container to


Who is assigned to make the guidelines in Germany? (reference:

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure will assign state tasks which result from this new regulation to the Ship Safety Division. These include:

  • defining accuracy classes of the scales used for the determination of the gross mass
  • arrangement for the certification at the company if the gross mass is to be determined by calculation (so called method no. 2)

The BG Verkehr determined the following provisions in coordination with the European neighboring ports:

  • If the whole packed container gets weighed (method no. 1), scales of accuracy class IIII (IV) or higher are to be used in accordance with Directive 2014/31/EC. Weighing on a chassis or trailer is generally possible. In this case, clause 11.1. of the Guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo (MSC.1/Circ. 1475) needs to be observed.
  • If a shipper wants to determine the gross mass by calculating the individual components, he can ensure the certification with the existing certification (ISO, AEO) and by retaining already developed business processes. Weighing has to be done with scales of accuracy class III of Directive 2014/31/EC.

A procedure for shippers who are unable to follow either method which is deemed certified and recognized by BG Verkehr will be announced.

There will be no special authorization procedures by BG Verkehr regarding certification or the use of weighing devices.


Important Notice!

The verified gross mass must likewise be conveyed for packed container (Full Container Load) as well as for single packages (Less Container Load) to either the master or his representative!


Wethe TCI Group, are well prepared!

We have initiated the necessary in-house processes to be well prepared for the amendments effective 1 July 2016.

Our Packing Center (HLS) will use a sensor controlled system installed at the twistlocks of the reach stacker for weighing the packed container.

We will provide further information about how to submit the document declaring the verified gross mass to the duly authorized person at TCI.


Please don’t hesitate to contact your accustomed person at TCI Group for any further required information about this topic.


Extensive information can be found on following web pages:

SOLAS forms for shipping: