In line with IMO’s amendment of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention, shippers will be required to provide a verified weight prior to a shipping container being loaded to a ship.

Shippers are legally required to provide a Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for any laden container being shipped from the Port. If the shipper is unable to provide a VGM, The Bristol Port Company is looking to offer a weighing solution.

The main principles connected to the shipment of containers, and supply of VGMs, at The Bristol Port Company are as follows:

  • Without a valid VGM, the container will not be loaded to ship.
  • Shippers are strongly urged to have a VGM in place (via either Method 1 or 2)
  • If the Shipper is unable to provide a VGM, The Bristol Port Company can determine a Terminal VGM but this has both cost and time implications.
  • Payment terms in relation to invoices for the determination of Terminal VGM services are 14 days. Failure to make payment within that period will entitle The Bristol Port Company to withdraw the offer of this service and containers may not be loaded to vessel.
  • Shipping lines have been fully consulted and endorse these principles.

Rates and charge information:

Charges in relation to the provision of a Terminal Verified Gross Mass (TVGM) – with effect from 01/01/2024. Charges valid to 31/12/2024. These charges will be reviewed annually.

  • Royal Portbury Dock: Provision of a Terminal VGM  £18.30 per container.

Containers delivered into the terminal which have no VGM provided to The Bristol Port Company, at least 24 hours prior to scheduled vessel arrival, and with no request to weigh on arrival at the terminal will need to then be weighed. These containers will incur a lift and weigh charge of £57.50 per container and an additional haul to the weighbridge to be arranged by the shipper’s shipping line or haulier.

Payment terms for BCP invoices are 14 days from date of invoice.

The approach is described in the tabbed section below.

The Bristol Port Company has installed weighing equipment onto its reach stackers, in compliance with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Method 1 requirement.

At any time prior to 24 hours before arrival, shippers can provide a VGM, electronically through the port community system, Destin8, to The Bristol Port Company.

On arrival at the container terminal, the terminal will check if a VGM has been received.

If there is a VGM in place, the container will be taken into the terminal ready for export.

If there is no VGM in place then, as part of the standard operating procedure, the containers will be weighed using the equipment on the terminal reach stackers with a Terminal Verified Gross Mass (TVGM) captured, which TVGM as determined by the equipment will be transmitted to the Shipping Line via Destin8. Shippers have up until 24 hours prior to scheduled vessel arrival to provide a VGM. If at this point there is no VGM available then the TVGM as determined above will be allocated against the container and transmitted to the Shipping Line via Destin8.

Shippers who rely upon the TVGM for supplying the information will then be liable for a charge as shown on the charge sheet. These charges will be invoiced to the export declarant in the port community system, Destin8. If it is not shown here, the invoice party will be as supplied by the Shipping Line.

Attention is also drawn to the Important Notes which apply in relation to the provision by shippers of VGMs, the provision of container weighing service and the determination of TVGMs at Royal Portbury Dock.