The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has approved amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention and introduced a mandatory requirement that containers being exported must have a verified gross mass stated in the shipping documentation before being loaded onto a vessel. This can be established using calibrated and certified equipment or following a certified approved method. The requirement will become legally binding on July 1, 2016.
The full text of the SOLAS requirements, additional information and background, is available on the World Shipping Council website.
The IMO have provided 'Guidelines Regarding The Verified Gross Mass of A Container Carrying Cargo' issued on 9 June.
Maritime New Zealand released a discussion document for the implementation of SOLAS requirements into New Zealand and is available for download.
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At the conclusion of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Legal Metrology Forum (APLMF) meeting in Hawaii USA on the 30th of October 2015, responsibility for the Secretariat and Presidency of APLMF transferred from China to New Zealand.
Mr Stephen O’Brien, Manager Trading Standards in New Zealand took over the Presidency of APLMF from Mr. Pu Chang Cheng, Vice Minister, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in PR China after eight successful years in the role.
The Asia-Pacific Legal Metrology Forum is an important grouping of national legal metrology authorities from APEC and other economies on the Pacific Rim.
APLMF’s current membership of 30 economies represents 2.9 billion people with a combined GDP of US$39 trillion.
In accepting the Presidency, Mr O’Brien noted that the role of APLMF to develop legal metrology and promote free and open trade in the region through harmonisation and the removal of technical barriers to trade, is as important today as when APLMF was formed 22 years ago.
On behalf of the New Zealand Government and the new, New Zealand secretariat team, Mr O’Brien thanked Mr Pu and the APLMF member economies for the opportunity to take on the responsibility of the APLMF Secretariat and Presidency.
He acknowledged that Mr Pu and the current secretariat from China can be justifiably proud of the work that they have done in support of APLMF over the past eight years.
“Looking back over this period we can see the successful completion of significant training and development work around the Asia-Pacific region that has resulted in positive benefits for many developed and developing economies,” said Mr O’Brien.
Working with the Secretariat team on hosting last year’s meetings in Wellington, Mr O’Brien appreciated the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make APLMF meetings successful.
On behalf of APLMF member economies, Mr O’Brien noted that China leaves big shoes to fill.
“However with the ongoing patience and support from China and all APLMF members, the New Zealand Secretariat will do its best to fill them.”
In conclusion and as Mr O’Brien’s first official duty as the President of APLMF, he nominated that Mr Pu be made an honorary member of APLMF in recognition of his service and dedication to the organisation and legal metrology within the region. This nomination was unanimously supported by APLMF members and accepted by Mr Pu.
Details of the new APLMF Secretariat team and Executive Committee membership can be seen on the APLMF website: www.aplmf.org