Freight News, Sea

EU falls into line on container weighing

[ October 29, 2013   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association says it has headed off a European Commission proposal that could potentially have created conflicting requirements for shippers to weigh containers before shipment.

Under the EU weights and dimensions directive currently under review, the Commission had been proposing new shipper liability provisions for overweight/misdeclared containers which could have led to duplication of the International Maritime Organisation’s recently reached compromise deal on new guidelines for container weighing.

However, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur Jörg Leichtfried has now accepted FTA proposals to amend the proposal to effectively implement the recent IMO decision.

Recently FTA, and the international organisation the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), worked with the IMO and other industry stakeholders to agree new verification provisions for container weighing which will substantially address the problem of misdeclaration of containers and enhance safety standards on EU roads.

FTA added that it fully supported the proposed amendment by the rapporteur outlined in his recent draft report, which would advise against the EU adopting different provisions to achieve exactly the same objective as the IMO’s safety of Live at Sea (SOLAS) changes.

Chris Welsh, FTA Director Global and European policy said: “FTA strongly believes that Rapporteur Leichtfried’s amendment will establish a uniform approach across all modes of transport and will achieve the same objectives as the IMO SOLAS changes.  It will avoid possible conflicting provisions, especially as the new Article 14 is primarily concerned with the land transport leg of an international maritime multimodal transport movement.

“The carefully crafted amendment to the SOLAS Convention provides for two methods of verification: weighing the fully packed container via a weigh bridge/station at the container terminal, or via a calculated weight method whereby the shipper must weigh the constituent parts of the consignment to arrive at the gross mass weight of the container, subject to verification schemes to be adopted by national maritime safety administrations.”

Mr Welsh added: “FTA, in conjunction with GSF, has worked closely with the IMO in order to address the misdeclaration of container weighing and is therefore calling on the Commission to ensure the new Article 14 of Directive 96/53 fully respects these new global rules.”

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