June 27, 2016

CONTACT: mail@agtrans.org 202 783 3333

Agriculture Transportation Coalition Urges US Marine Terminals to Implement OCEMA and G6 SOLAS Terminal Weighing VGM Solutions Immediately

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition supports the OCEMA terminal weighing approach outlined in its June 17th Press Release and the recent communication of the G6 carriers to their marine terminals regarding a compliant VGM solution for both local and IPI cargo. In view of threatened disruption to US exports and port congestion, and the adoption of efficient and SOLAS compliant terminal weighing by some terminals already, the AgTC urges prompt implementation by all terminals nationwide.

The G6 announcement calls for terminal scale weights for all locally received cargo to be received and accepted by the carriers as the VGM equivalent, with the expectation that the terminals will facilitate this process. This method complies with the US Coast Guard Equivalency set forth in the Marine Safety Information Bulletin of April 28, 2016, stating that for purposes of determining VGM, current terminal weighing equipment/practices used to comply with Federal and/or State laws, including the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act and 29 CFR 1918.85(b), are acceptable for SOLAS compliance.

The G6 has also developed an on-dock rail procedure that is compliant with the Equivalency and SOLAS requirements. The G6 solution utilizes the shippers’ certification of cargo weights tendered to the railroad, as required by the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act. The carriers will marry these shippers’ weights with the associated container tare weights pulled from the carriers’ own equipment fleet registers, to arrive at the VGM, which will be electronically transmitted to the terminal by the ocean carrier.

The AgTC urges terminals across the United States to fully accept and promptly implement these VGM solutions and keep international commerce and US agriculture and forest products exports moving on July 1, 2016.