On June 27 the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted unanimously to allow a group of six East Coast and Gulf Coast ports and 19 ocean carriers to develop a common strategy for complying with the new container weight verification regulations. More details are available in this FMC news release.
The port authorities involved in the agreement — Houston, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts — will now have access to shared information regarding generation and transmission of container weight data. Media reports indicate that the New York-New Jersey Port Authority’s six container terminals will follow a similar path.
The new regulations require a verified gross mass (VGM) for all ocean-bound containers prior to loading. While the rules took effect Friday, July 1, the International Maritime Organization has encouraged port authorities to employ flexibility in enforcing the rule for the next three months. Exporters who encounter problems or have concerns with the VGM rule may contact the USMEF Technical Services Department.