The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention that will require verification of container weights as a condition for loading packed export containers aboard ships.
The approved changes to the Convention will enter into force in July 2016 upon final adoption by the MSC in November 2014.
The MSC has also approved a new Code of Practice for the Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs), including intermodal shipping containers.
The new CTU Code, which will replace the current IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for packing of CTU, has already been approved by the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) and will now go to the ILO (international Labour organization) for approval.
The CTU Code provides information and guidance to shippers, packers and other parties in the international supply chains for the safe packing, handling and transport of CTUs.
“In taking these decisions, the IMO has demonstrated its continuing leadership in trying to ensure the safe transportation of cargo by the international shipping industry,” said WSC President & CEO, Chris Koch.
“We congratulate the IMO Secretary General and the IMO member governments for developing and approving these measures that, when properly implemented and enforced, should provide for long-needed improvement to maritime safety.
“The SOLAS amendments and related implementation guidelines regarding container weight verification represent a collaborative effort that we were pleased to be a part of and we look forward to final adoption of the amendments in November 2014.”
May 22, 2014; Image: IMO