Shippers to declare EU road weights

A partial extension of the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) amendment of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations that entered global maritime regulation last July, the EU 2015/719 directive, will formally enter law tomorrow, 7 May 2017.

This new directive will mean that shippers with goods loaded in containers will have to provide hauliers with what was described at Multimodal 2017 by Freight Transport Association (FTA) director of global and European policy Chris Welsh as a “statement of compliance” − that the weight of the cargo and transport unit added to the weight of the truck and chassis will not exceed legal weight limits on roads.

“This new law will place the onus on shippers to declare the weight of their cargo,” Welsh said. “The shipper will have to give the haulier a statement indicating the weight of the container or swapbody, as well as the cargo, in much the same way as they do with the VGM. The regulation will stop hauliers being put in a position that sees them break legal road limits, often without knowing it. This can be serious for hauliers – they can have their operating licences taken away, and although it is not a major problem in the UK, it does happen sometimes and there are some unscrupulous firms.”