The Danish Maritime Authority has released new guidelines for the maritime industry, requiring all the cargo containers to be weighed before being boarded on to the ship.
The guidelines come at atime when the number of incidents where bulk carriers have lost containers at sea and the ship’s hull was damaged due to overload have increased.
Subject to a European Commission consultation procedure, the regulations will be put into effect from 1 July but will be formally issued in early May.
It will require the establishment of a ‘verified weight’ of all packed containers and it will follow the containers at all times and be available to the ship and the terminal.
The shipper, who looks over the contract of carriage, will be assigned with the responsibility of establishing the verified weight in a certified method.
Calculating the weight of containers can be done in two ways, one by weighing the packed container against a suitable weight and the second wherein the weight of the container’s cargo and lashing elements can be added to the weight of the empty container.
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The authority will recognise tests undertaken by recognised test institutes including institutes in other EU member States, in EFTA States that are contracting Parties to the EEA agreement and in Turkey.
The rules if not followed will invite punishment in terms of fine.
The newly stated rules are applicable to the masters of Danish and Greenland ships, as well as of foreign ships in Danish and Greenland ports loading packed containers, however it don’t cover containers transported on a chassis frame or a trailer when such containers are driven on to or from ro-ro ships engaged on short international voyages.
Image: Cargo containers to be weighed before loaded into the ship. Photo: courtesy of Danish Maritime Authority.