14th March 2016
Ports repeat call for action on SOLAS
Feport says continuing lack of guidance from national authorities will impact on operations and lead to confusion in implementation and competitive distortion.
European ports organisation Feport has called for better guidance from national authorities on the implementation of new container-weighing rules, arguing that the current lack of guidance will impact on operations and lead to confusion in their implementation and competitive distortion.
From 1 July 2016, all containers to be loaded on a vessel will need to be accompanied by a Verified Gross Mass (VGM). As of now, industry actors have released guidelines on the implementation of SOLAS requirement, but guidance from national authorities is still absent in many cases, Feport said.
“A lack of national guidelines will ultimately provoke confusion in the implementation and will have an adverse impact on operations and lead to possible competitive distortion,” the grouping said.
Last January, Feport, the European organisation representing terminal operators located out of the sea ports of the European Union, released a paper calling for greater clarity in regards to national rules on weighing of containers. And the organisation has now Feport reiterated its call to national authorities “to work with all actors in the logistics chain to arrive at national guidelines and to adopt a pragmatic approach to implementation which does not lead to competition distortion between Member States,” adding: “This is crucial to ensure that the logistics chain can continue to function undisturbed.” Feport has published a position paper clarifying the legal responsibilities of terminal operators as of 1 July.
In addition, it said terminal operators were also calling for: A pragmatic approach regarding the accepted standards for weighing equipment that is not overly restrictive and does not have an adverse impact on the functioning of the logistics chain; Communication of the accepted tolerance level for their controlling proceedings of a declared VGM (for example; 5% or an acceptable variation from the declared weight) in advance of 01 July 2016; and national authorities to carry out an impact assessment of the impact of the new SOLAS rules to the logistics chain and, if required, take contingency measures to ensure the logistics chain can function undisturbed as of 1 July 2016.