Shippers ordered to ascertain VGM of their containers

Shippers are now responsible for obtaining and documenting the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of their containers, as ordered by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) in AO No. 02-2021.

The Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of Mandatory Weighing of Export Containers (PPA AO No. 02-2021), in compliance with the SOLAS regulations, requires the shippers to verify the gross mass of the packed container by weighing using calibrated and certified equipment or calculating the sum of single masses.

Shippers shall ensure that the VGM of the container is stated in the shipping document. In failure to declare accurate VGM, containers will not be loaded onto the ship. 

In line with the said issuance, some exporters experienced costly shutout charges and delays in loading cargoes.

Prior to the implementation of the revised guidelines, the Export Development Council, through its Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics submitted a letter dated 02 February 2021 to PPA’s Port Operations and Services Department, stating that it is unnecessary and redundant since there are already certified operators in charge of the VGM at the port for a fee. It will also entail delays and undue burden on the shippers.

Further, the Committee recommended that this process must comply with the provisions of the RA 11032 “Ease of Doing Business” and Administrative Order No. 23, also known as “Eliminating Overregulation to Promote Efficiency of Government Processes”. Moreover, it called for clear and specific guidelines to avoid port disruptions.KJDA

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