Verification of the weight of packed containers (VGM)
– Method 2, calculation of the weight according to a certified method
From 1 July 2016, all export containers to be loaded on board a ship must be fitted with a so-called "verified weight" – VGM (Verified Gross Mass).
It is possible to establish the VGM by means of two methods: 1) Weighing by means of "a suitable weight" or 2) calculation according to a "certified method".
This fact sheet describes method 2, which is a calculated weight according to "a certified method".
See a separate fact sheet for method 1.
What: Method 2. The shipper/shipping agent can calculate the total VGM on the basis of the contents of the packed container. Below, you can see how.
In spite of the name, the method does not require any separate certification or approval in Denmark. However, it is a precondition that the shipper/shipping agent has a quality management system, for example of ISO standard, in which the method can be incorporated.
A quality management system is a documented system according to a fixed framework which is audited as regards the system's implementation and efficiency. The framework can, for example, be DS/EN ISO 9001:2015: Quality management systems – Requirements, as well as DS/EN ISO 19011:2012: Guidelines for auditing management systems.
How: The VGM is found by carrying out a five-step calculation:
Step 1: The weight of the individual cargo items is added together. This is to be done on the basis of own or reliable information from the suppliers. As regards bulk products, the weight can be established via measurements by means of suitable filling equipment.
Step 2: The weight of the packaging is added together. This is to be done on the basis of the shipper's own or the manufacturer's information.
Step 3: The weight of pallets and securing devices (dunnage) is added together. This is to be done on the basis of own or the manufacturer's information.
Step 4: The tare weight of the empty container.
Step 5: Adding together the values obtained from steps 1-4
Of what must you be particularly attentive
Weight deviations can occur on, for example, the humidity of pallets and dunnage, the actual tare weight of containers, etc. Such deviations must be considered in the shipper's quality management system. It is possible to use qualified average figures.
The calculated VGM must be as accurate as possible. If the calculated VGM deviates from the actual weight of the container, the container can be rejected in the transport chain. In case of considerable deviations, it may involve persecution. In practice, "considerable" will be interpreted as a deviation of approximately 5 per cent.
For additional information, please contact the Danish Maritime Authority by telephone +45 72 19 60 00, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our webpage: www.dma.dk.