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Port of Houston supports container weight mandate

HOUSTON, Tex.–The Port of Houston Authority said it supports a new requirement to verify the gross weight of a loaded container before it is accepted by an ocean carrier for transport.

The requirement, which goes into effect July 1, 2016, is an amendment approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. The change mandates the declaration of a verified gross mass (VGM) before a container is allowed to be loaded onto a vessel, said the release.

The Port of Houston Authority said it fully supports the SOLAS convention. After the requirement goes into effect, The Port Authority will gather the VGM via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) from the ocean carrier. Containers will be required to have a VGM on file prior to in-gate. The Port Authority said it will continue to work with various stakeholders and partners to ensure compliance and an uninterrupted flow of cargo, it said.