NZ permitted flexible regulation adoption

Maritime New Zealand and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have agreed to ensure flexibility in introducing new regulations for verifying container weights.

Under the IMO’s new regulations the shipper exporting a container must provide its “verified gross mass”. If it does not, then the container will not be loaded.

New Zealand port companies and exporters had raised concerns about the new regulations, introduced on July 1. Specific concerns were recognised as how to manage containers loaded before July 1 that will reach their final port on or after that date, and any possible teething problems with necessary software updates, data sharing, and communication systems.

The IMO will permit packed containers that are loaded on a ship before July 1 to be shipped to their final port without the verified gross mass, and flexibility to refine, if necessary, procedures for documenting, communicating and sharing verified gross mass information, without stopping shipments.

“It is important to understand that about 97 per cent of our country’s trade is by ship,” Maritime NZ acting director Lindsay Sturt said. “Disruption to that trade during the transition to the new regulations could cause unnecessary and potentially costly delays.”