The Hong Kong Shippers’ Council urged shippers to reject additional weighing fees that some freight forwarders are seeking to impose when SOLAS regulations regarding the gross mass of packed containers comes in to effect on 1 July.
Hong Kong Shippers’ Council executive director Sunny Ho said: “We are aware that some freight forwarders are seeking to impose and additional weighing fee. Such a fee is totally unreasonable and should be rejected.”
Certain freight forwarders have proposed a US$25 (HK$194) fee for less than full container loads and between US$50 –US$100 for full container loads.
In the case of LCL cargoes the goods must have already included weighing services since the freight forwarders calculation arises out of the weight or volume of goods, which is converted, to weight units i.e. 1,000 cbm equals a tonne. “Such a charge is completely unjustified,” says Mr Ho.
Mr Ho declared that the Council was satisfied with the weighing charge of HK$300 offered at Hong Kong’s container terminals but added ideally cargoes would be weighed prior to arrival at the terminal in order avoid bottlenecks.
OOCL offers VGM guidance
In other VGM-related news Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line is offering its customers an overview of the VGM implementation status for different regions around the world, following the International Maritime Organization’s recommendation that Port State Controls take a pragmatic approach to enforcement Such information, where available and/or applicable, would include the following areas:
- VGM receivable parties (Carrier, Terminal or both);
- VGM tolerance level set by authorities;
- Registration requirements for weighing methods;
- VGM Policy (“No VGM, No Load” or “No VGM, No Gate-in”);
- Weighing services at terminal;
- Terminal charges related to VGM;
- Website addresses to local authorities; and
- OOCL Local Region website with detailed guidelines for local VGM compliance
OOCL added: Effective from July 01, 2016, customers will be responsible for any additional or related costs associated to meeting the VGM requirements (e.g. weighing charge), collected by OOCL or a third party.
OOCL will also introduce Administration Fees to recover the costs from the manual processing of VGM submissions (i.e. not sent via electronic submission channels) and those that are late or require amendments. There is a possibility that customers may encounter different issues that prevent them from making successful VGM submissions during the initial stage of implementation and as such, OOCL will advise customers when the VGM administration fees will become effective.