SOLAS Regulation Update

August 18, 2016

In July 2016, a new regulation, titled Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) went into effect for all global shipments of goods. SOLAS was born, in part, due to the under-reporting of shipment weights in the hope of lowering ocean freight rates. Going forward, SOLAS requires the weighing of all shipments so that shipping vessels are not over-weight with goods, which can result in safety issues for both the crew and vessel itself. 

This regulation impacts the relocation industry due to the fact that outside of the US, it is not customary to weigh household goods shipments, so the infrastructure has not been in place to support this process. The result could be increased costs due to longer container holding times, increased transportation to facilitate weighing the shipments, and possible storage if a shipment misses an intended sailing. 

So far, our household goods shippers have reported less interruption and delay than might have been anticipated. We will advise on any new developments as countries and shippers adjust to these new requirements.

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