SOLAS VGM Customer Advisory - June 10, 2016


Customer Advisory

SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirements

Effective July 1, 2016

June 10, 2016

Dear Valued Customer,

As announced earlier, the International Maritime Organization, (IMO), Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention amendment regarding the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of a packed container becomes effective July 1, 2016. As of this date, Westwood will be prohibited from loading any container onboard our vessels unless we have received the VGM from the shipper.

Under the SOLAS VGM requirements, it is the shipper's responsibility to obtain and transmit the required VGM data for a packed container to the ocean carrier. Once the shipper has provided the required VGM details to Westwood Shipping Lines by the VGM cutoff, their responsibility is completed. It is then Westwood's responsibility to report the VGM to the Ocean Terminal in time for vessel load planning.

How to submit VGM Data to Westwood:

  • Westwood will accept VGM data via the following two methods:
    • VGM data added to Shipping Instructions
    • Submitted via VGM Data Form (available at

Mandatory information to be provided by shippers to Westwood:

  • Booking or B/L number
  • Container number
  • VGM weight
  • Unit of measure
  • VGM authorized name

VGM data cut-off:

VGM cut-off timing will vary based on terminal rules. The cut-off for data submission will be provided on the booking confirmation.

  • Vancouver / Centerm (DP World): VGM cut-off will be the same as the documentation due date.
    • Centerm will allow containers to in-gate without VGM.
    • VGM cut-off for inland rail cargo destined to Vancouver is also the documentation due date.
  • Tacoma / Husky & OCT (Ports America): VGM cut-off will be 10:00 a.m. the business day prior to container in-gate.
    • Husky and OCT currently have a "No VGM/No In-gate" policy.
    • VGM cut-off for inland rail cargo destined to Tacoma is the container in-gate date at the rail.

Starting Vessel/Voyages:

  • Vancouver / Centerm (DP World): Bardu 003W
  • Tacoma / Husky & OCT (Ports America): Victoria 085W

Cargo with no VGM:

Westwood will not load cargo on our vessels without VGM. For containers that in-gate without VGM and miss the VGM data cut-off, all additional costs including but not limited to: demurrage, storage, shifting, and terminal administrative fees will be strictly for the account of cargo.

Additional Information:

For additional information please visit our website at

  • Westwood VGM submission form
  • Container lease company website addresses (for tare weight query)
  • DP World VGM policy
  • Ports America VGM policy

The following links contain helpful information:

As always, please feel free to contact your customer service team if you have any questions or questions.

Eastbound: 1-800-621-4371
Westbound: 1-800-220-9752

Westwood Shipping Lines