The shipper on the Bill of Lading ultimately bears the responsibility for a VGM. Since the shipper may also be a freight forwarder or Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC), agreements that clearly define which party is responsible for the VGM must be in place. The shipper must also ensure that the information contained within ERP, TM, and other operational systems is accurate and that the data is able to be transferred to carriers, forwarders and others.
Like shippers, forwarders/NVOCCs should implement clear agreements,indemnity clauses or waivers when tendering cargo on behalf of exporters. Leading forwarders/NVOCCs have modified standard agreement language to clarify any uncertainty. Forwarders/NVOCCs also need to ensure that the technology used is capable of capturing the required data and communicating the information to the carrier. Finally, forwarders/NVOCCs should establish internal procedures and identify facilities that can weigh cargo as a fallback method when required.
Many carriers are raising awareness of the new VGM regulation. They are also ensuring that a VGM is received from forwarders/NVOCCs and shippers as part of a shipping document. This may include the booking request, shipping instruction, or a separate message called Verification of Mass (VERMAS) possibly from a certified weighing facility. Carriers are also confirming that all message protocols, such as Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (EDIFACT) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) x12, have been updated to allow for the receipt and transmission of VGM data.
Technology can help connect shippers, Forwarders/NVOCCs, carriers and others to the information they need.Solutions that can seamlessly transfer the required data with the least amount of disruptions to current processes are needed to ensure that the ocean supply chain is not slowed by the onset of the regulation.