Check-weighing at terminal reveals industry non-compliance

Check-weighing at terminal reveals industry non-compliance

 

Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at Webb Dock has commenced check weighing export containers received against the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) provided by shippers and forwarders in 1-stop.   With four vessels now serviced, non-compliance remains alarmingly high with an average of 20% of export boxes mis-declared by a variance of 500kgs, while more than 8% of boxes were mis-declared by over a tonne. The civil penalty for a mis-declared VGM is 50 penalty units, or $9,000 (Marine Orders Part 42- Section 11).

Import +-500kgs +-1000kgs +-2000kgs
events with discrepancy 183 93 29
total boxes 453 453 453
% with discrepancy 40.4% 11.5% 3.8%

 

Export +-500kgs +-1000kgs +-2000kgs
events with discrepancy 109 45 19
total boxes 530 530 530
% with discrepancy 20.6% 8.5% 3.6%

*Data sample from vessel in April     Notably, mis-declaration of import containers is worse, with over 40% mis-declared by a variance of 500kg, and over 11% with a variance of over a tonne.   To date, export container VGM auditing by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has been predominantly paper-based. Check-weighing at the terminal will provide a new environment of legal accountability for shippers, forwarders and transport operators Freight and Trade Alliance (FTA), the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) and Container Transport Alliance of Australia (CTAA) are working closely with VICT to determine the best way of managing this process.   Through our discussions VICT have agreed to provide industry with a grace period. In the future, VICT will be introducing a “variance fee” on mis-declared boxes, where a discrepancy is in excess of a tonne.   Serial offenders may be referred to AMSA, where a breach is considered a strict liability offence.   Shippers and forwarders are encouraged to immediately review their VGM processes while the grace period is in effect.   VICT has a “Weigh at Terminal Service” (available as a check box in the 1-Stop system), where the VGM is not required to be provided in the Pre-Receival Advice (PRA).   Where that is not possible, members are encouraged to contact FTA/APSA’s preferred on-demand weighing service, Conweigh.   FTA/APSA and CTAA have been in contact with AMSA and we will provide more updates as they emerge.