Shippers – The Mandatory Reporting of VGM is July 1, 2016

As you may be aware, amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), to which 162 states including Canada are parties, are coming into effect on 1 July 2016. These changes, implemented into Canadian law, impose on all shippers of containers the obligation to obtain and provide a “Verified Gross Mass” (VGM) for every loaded container tendered to ocean carriers in advance of loading.

Beginning 1 July 2016, carriers in Canada and around the world will be obligated to refuse loading of any container that does not have a VGM in compliance with SOLAS and the implementing regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. Shippers that are non-compliant with the VGM reporting rules are liable for any costs that may result from failure or delay in providing VGM, including storage, demurrage, container weighing and rerouting costs, and commercial costs of delay, as well as for possible fines or penalties imposed by Transport Canada, carriers or terminals.

Ensuring safe operations for all parties in the transport chain and complying with all relevant rules and regulations for international carriage are among our top priorities, and we will work with our customers and the ocean carriers to ensure the transition to this new regime is as smooth as possible

To ensure containers are not refused, shippers must provide a VGM that is obtained using qualified weighing equipment(ref: TP15330) and identify the authorized party who verified that weight. The VGM must include the container itself, all cargo and all packing and dunnage, and must be established by one of two methods:

  1. Weighing the fully packed container; or
  2. Weighing all the packages, packing, bracing and dunnage loaded into the container,and adding this to the verified tare mass of the empty container.

Estimates of weights, or any other method for weighing, are not permitted.


When must the VGM be provided?
The VGM by law must be provided in sufficient time for the carriers to prepare their stowage plan. In practice, these cut-off times will vary from carrier to carrier and from port to port, and we will communicate to you the relevant VGM reporting cut-off time in quotations and/or booking confirmations.


To whom must the VGM be provided?
Customers / Shippers must provide the VGM and name of the authorized party to us in sufficient time prior to the indicated VGM reporting cut-off date/time to allow us to ensure transmission of same to carriers and terminals as required under the booking.


How is the VGM data submitted? 

We will require confirmation on your letterhead to be submitted to us with proof attached. Please contact our sea freight department at 905-678-5494/95 for assistance or you can go to our Resources tab or click on this link where we have a template that can be put on your letterhead.

What documentation is required ?

Shippers must maintain documentation verifying the measurement of the gross mass and identifying the party who was responsible for measuring it.

What documentation must be preserved?
Under Canadian regulations these documents must be retained for a minimum of three months

Please recall that all business is conducted in accordance with the Standard Trading Conditions of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders’ Association (the CIFFA STCs), which are found also under the Resources tab or click on this link Trading Conditions. Customers have always warranted the accuracy of marks and descriptions of cargo, including weight (paragraph 7), and for packing, stowing, and marking of containerized goods competently and appropriately for international carriage.

Customers are liable for charges of any kind resulting from a failure to appropriately pack, mark, and describe containerized cargo, which includes providing required VGM data in a timely fashion. Customers have always been and remain liable to indemnify the Company against government, carrier, or terminal charges of any kind in respect of cargo, including costs associated with a failure to provide accurate or timely VGM data.

We remain committed to providing you with the best possible service, and will continue to update you as implementation of these new SOLAS regulations proceeds. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about these new procedures at [email protected] or at Tel.: 905-678-5499(main line) 905-678-5494/95 sea freight department.

At SCACLI, we keep you in the know of upcoming industry changes, so you can be prepared.


Transport Canada Bulletin:

Transport Canada TP 15330:

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Wilcox Canada

Sea Cargo provides professional and courteous support to our customer service team along with our international distributors. As a freight agent the staff is efficient, detail oriented, and offers outstanding customer service support which is sometimes difficult to locate when exporting worldwide. We have all come to rely and depend on their knowledge and expertise in assisting with shipments and documentation to various countries allowing Richards-Wilcox to conduct smooth business relations with our international dealers.

Nadine F., Export Administrator
(garage door and hardware manufacturer)

Techflow Design & Manufacturing Inc.

As a company that manufactures and ships overseas, it would not have been made seamless without the help of Sea Cargo Air Cargo. Your team is always ready and willing to answer questions and to keep us informed with up to date regulations and changes. You strive to ensure that our freight arrives to its destination the best way possible without complication.

Mike B.
(design, manufacture and ship overseas)

Ray Jacobs Machinery Co.

(The) Sea Cargo Air Cargo team has handled our shipping requirements by all modes of transport throughout the world for 15 years now. Our equipment’s are most of the time dimensionally out of gauge and therefore not the easiest to ship. The Sea Cargo Air Cargo team … have proven themselves throughout the years to be extremely knowledgeable and competent regardless of how complicated our shipments may be. We… recommend them to anyone who requires an experienced and qualified project freight forwarder.

~Raymond J.
(metalworking machinery dealer and broker relocating equipment worldwide)

Greg K.

We put SCACLI to the test numerous times – tight shipping windows, unusual cargo, challenging countries – they always exceed expectations.

~Greg K., Vice President
(interactive exhibitions worldwide)

Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

We appreciate Sea Cargo for their valuable services for inbound sea freight and road transport.  Recently, we had to rush a shipment of a dangerous good to one of our facilities.  Sea Cargo was able to provide the necessary documentation accurately and arrange the courier to meet our very tight timeline.  It is a pleasure to work with professional top-notch people. They are prompt to return calls and e-mails and provide updates on our shipments and inquiries.

Jane J., National Procurement Manager
(major brewery)

Team Machine Tools Inc.

Sea Cargo Air Cargo Logistics Inc has handled our shipping requirements for exports and imports throughout the world for many years now. All our cargo is shipped to some of the most remote places around the world and SCACLI was always able to source out an options for us….Their staff is able to accommodate all shipment no matter how complicated or to where in the world we need to send our equipment. I would highly recommend Sea Cargo Air Cargo Logistics Inc as an international freight forwarder and ship chartering experts.

Cam A., Sales Manager
(Relocate machinery and entire plants)

Innovative Steam Technologies

We have been utilizing the services of SCACLI for shipping our heavy lift and dimensional cargo overseas. This requires knowledge of dimensional rail transportation, technical knowledge at port of origin and destination as well as ship chartering. .. They are proactive in sourcing the best possible charter for our requirements and ensuring that it is monitored throughout the whole shipping process.

David L., P.Eng.
, Project Manager
(steam technology company)

Hockey Hall of Fame

"The Hockey Hall of Fame has been working with "scac" for years. Their service has always been reliable and a perfect fit for our needs"

Phil P.,
Hockey Hall of Fame

Heather L.

We have had the pleasure to use Sea Cargo Air Cargo Logistics Inc to handle our shipping needs and export globally to some difficult areas. With their friendly staff, we are always confident that they will provide the most professional service and make sure that every aspect of shipping is handled properly.

With their resources and years of accomplishments it makes easy when choosing a freight forwarder to handle our shipments correctly and to the laws and regulations of shipping.

I would highly recommend Sea Cargo Air Cargo Logistics Inc as an international freight forwarder every time.

Heather L.
Director of Export


Sear Cargo Air Cargo team has handled our shipping requirements by all modes of transport throughout the world for 15 years now. Our equipment’s are most of the time dimensional out of gauge not the easiest to ship. The Sea Cargo Air Cargo team has always tried very hard to accommodate all our requirements. They have proven themselves through the years to be extremely knowledgeable and competent regardless off how complicated our shipments may be. We will continue to work with this team for many more years and recommend them regularly to anyone who requires an experienced and qualified project freight forwarder.

John V. D.,
(specialize in the buying and selling of used equipment)

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