New Zealand ports are working to establish a simple and consistent process for collecting and managing the verified gross mass (VGM) weight of every container, as required by recent changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.

Online portals are now available for all shippers to provide the verified gross mass of their containers. Business-to-business electronic EDI services are also available for shippers who prefer to send VGM information in this manner.

Shippers using KiwiRail
KiwiRail and ports have agreed that shippers using rail to transport containers should pre-advise VGM through the relevant port's online portal. This system will be in place until KiwiRail has developed the capacity to accept and manage VGM information on behalf of shippers.

Cut-off times
Cargo cut-off times will continue to be set by individual shipping lines. If shippers have any queries regarding cut-off times, they should contact the lines directly.

Please note:

*Where a rail siding or packing operation on port is operated by a third party, different rules may apply.
*This rule does not apply to coastal RORO (inter-island) vessels.

The legislation takes effect from 1 July 2016, however changes in process to ensure compliance must be operating by 15 June 2016 at the latest to ensure vessels transiting during that period are not held up due to a lack of VGM information if loading is delayed beyond 1 July 2016.

Should you have any questions relating to VGM processes and rules, please contact