Indian Shippers Protest SOLAS VGM Fees

Even though  supply chains continued to flow mostly without interruption after the SOLAS VGM rule took effect July 1st, shipper frustration with related fees continues to grow.

Gateway Terminals India (GTI), or APM Terminals Mumbai, has come under fire from the Directorate General of Shipping for levying verified gross mass processing fees on containers that arrive with a shipper-supplied VGM, as the Journal of Commerce reports.

The action followed trade and shipper complaints that shippers were being charged for VGM verifications when terminal operators had not been authorized by the directorate to offer on-site container weighing services at a fee.

The directorate agreed that there was no requirement for “ports/terminals to weigh containers to verify the gross mass of the container.” The Safety of Life at Sea rule was aimed at safety and should not be used by intermediaries in the supply chain to burden Indian exporters with additional costs and hurt their competitiveness, the directorate said.

Earlier GTI said these charges are levied only on containers that are found to have discrepancies between the shipper-supplied VGM and actual weight obtained at the terminal in excess of the 1,000-kilogram (2,204-pound) tolerance threshold mandated by the Indian government.

If you have any questions regarding the SOLAS regulations, please contact  RCL Agencies at 973-779-5900.