What is VGM?

VGM stands for Verified Gross Mass. It is a new type of information about a container or, to be more precise, about the container weight, introduced worldwide on 1 July 2016 by the IMO under the SOLAS Convention. Without information about VGM, the container will not be loaded onto the ship.

What are the permitted methods for weighing a container?

01. by weighing a full and closed container (method 1),

02. by weighing the individual cargoes, including the weight of pallets, dunnage, other packaging or cargo securing materials and adding the tare weight of the container (method 2).

Who, apart from DCT, provides information about VGM?

01. All information is provided by ship operators, e.g. on their websites;

02. The Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation has also prepared guides regarding VGM;

03. Information about certification of “method 2” of container weighing is provided by the Polish Register of Shipping.

Is DCT ready for VGM regulations to come into force?

Yes. DCT Gdańsk has legalised truck scales that fulfil the requirements of accuracy class III. Moreover, it is in constant contact with ship operators as regards the exchange of data on VGM. A scan of the scales legalisation certificate is published on DCT website.

Who is responsible for providing DCT Gdańsk with information about VGM?

It is the responsibility of the ship operator to whom the shipper or the freight forwarder acting on its behalf commissions the sea transport of the container. The communication between ship operators and DCT shall only take place in the form of electronic data exchange (EDI, COPRAR LOAD and COPARN).

Will containers without VGM enter the terminal?

Yes, but they will not be loaded onto a ship until VGM is provided by the ship operator or the container is weighed at DCT terminal.

Does VGM only apply to exports?

It applies to exports and transshipment.

Which method will DCT use to weigh the containers?

Method 1 (weighing a full container).

Will DCT weigh every container entering the port?

No. DCT will only do the weighing upon an order of the shipper or ship operator.

Will DCT verify the VGM indicated by the ship operator?

In principle – no, but such verification may take place in justified cases.

Will containers without VGM be loaded onto the ship?


Will import containers be released without VGM?

DCT assumes that all containers will have VGM, due to the obligation under international law.

Where will the information about VGM be available in the system?

Next to the weight information.

What will be the changes in DCT Gdańsk tariff due to new container weighing regulations coming into force on 1 July 2016?

On 1 July DCT Gdańsk Standard Tariff will be revised to make its provisions more precise. The weighing charges will be borne by the ordering party (ship operator or shipper) and any corrections to the weight information in the system will be at the expense of the shipping line (COD/COI – Change of Data / Change of Information).

Is there a risk of not weighing all export containers?

DCT Gdańsk recommends providing information about VGM before entering the terminal. DCT also considers equipping the terminal with additional scales.

What is the allowed tolerance on the scales?

The bill allows for a 5% difference between VGM and the actual container weight.

Where are other certified scales located beyond DCT?

DCT Gdańsk has no knowledge in this respect.

How to send weighing orders?

To weigh a container an appropriate system order must be issued in the NAVIS system; one weighing order may be issued for several containers. In case of export containers an order may only be placed after prior assignment of the forwarding agency code to the container notified by the Sailing Line. To generate a weighing order “from the road”, select Event Type DCT_WEIGHING_ROAD, for weighing “from the rail”, select DCT_WEIGHING_RAIL, and for weighing “from the yard”, select Event Type DCT_WEIGHING_FROM_YARD. In the event of weighing “from the road”, orders must be issued before the container is stored, and in the event of weighing “from the yard”, there is no specific time limit.

Will it be possible to order weighing “from the road” at the time of notification of the storage?

No. Currently, in the first place, the ship operator notifies of the container storage, and then the weighing order may be generated – these are two separate system activities.

How does DCT inform the Ordering Party about the result of weighing?

After the weighing the ordering party receives, by e-mail, a scan of the printout from the scales control panel.

Will weighing of containers be done on a 24-hour basis?

Yes. The weighing service is provided on a 24-hour basis.