MSC has been helping customers to ship cargo to and from the USA since 1971. Today, the company stands for 1,350 employees, 9 offices, 21 ports, 31 terminals, 49 weekly services and 89 inland ramps.
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Get easy access to Bill of Lading Number information to complete ISF filings with US Customs.
SOLAS VGM INFORMATION USA
A new regulation for a safer supply chain
VGM Receiving Policy
• Accepting the U.S. Coast Guard’s declared equivalency, whereas they have confirmed that the existing terminal weighing practice for on-dock scales in the United States is compliant with SOLAS regulation, all U.S. marine terminals are now allowed to use their certified scales to record the VGM.
• MSC accepts the “Terminal Weighing Approach” to derive a compliant VGM for loading.
• For more information about "VGM USA policy and terminal guideline" please click on the PDF document on the right-hand side of this content.
What to include in your VGM instructions
The following items are mandatory and must be on all VGM instructions:
• Booking or Bill of Lading number
• Container number
• VGM + weight measurement unit (lbs. or kgs.)
• Responsible party name
• Digital signature of the authorized signatory in all CAPITAL LETTERS.
How to submit your VGM instructions
• myMSC (Free of charge)
• EDI (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
• Manually (via INTTRA; GT NEXUS; Cargo Smart)
• Fax: 908-605-2619; e-Mail: email@example.com
• The email will only be monitored for VGM declarations;
Policy questions should be directed to the toll free number: 1 800 222 3367
Deadlines for sending your VGM instructions
• We encourage customers to submit their Shipper-Verified Gross Mass (VGM) before cargo is delivered to avoid any unexpected weighing charges being levied against the cargo at the US port of load, which will be billed to the shipper of record.
• Any shipper of record signed VGM will override any VGM derived at or by the terminal.
• For truck delivery the ultimate deadline for VGM submission will be 12 noon local time the day of the cargo cut-off.
• Currently, there are no US terminals with a “NO VGM – No GATE” policy. All “rail shipments” must have the VGM submitted within 24 hours of the container gating in at the origin rail ramp, to avoid any extra fees levied by the terminal for weighing services. Late gates will only be considered for approval when a VGM is submitted by the shipper of record before noon, local time, the day of the cargo cut-off.
MSC Admin Fees and costs
• Manual VGM Submission Fee (applies to email, fax, and inclusion on standard shipping instructions): $25 per container.
• Late VGM Submission Fee: $25 per container.
• VGM Mis-declaration Fee: $300 per mis declaration, per container.
SOLAS VGM Customer Service: 1 800 222 3367
Documents needed on page:
USA VGM Policy and Terminal Guidelines
It is illegal to bring the following items into or out of the USA.
View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.
View the full list of prohibited and restricted goods.
Find information on procedures and formalities.
In the context of the U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program and in line with guidance from many government agencies – Agricultural Security Minimum Security Criteria, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Maritime Security Unit (MSU), along with representatives of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Australian Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFI) – and various other governments and/or international entities such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and according with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), it has become increasingly important to focus on the prevention of pest contamination of containerized cargo and wood products (WPM – Wood Packing Material) in order to mitigate risks such as bio-security and hazards along the supply chain.
The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention, as one of many actors in the international container supply chain, onto the importance of enhancing the understanding of challenges and opportunities for identifying and reducing pest risk in our common business areas. Taking recommended actions at critical interchange points to reduce the spread of invasive pests, will not only support the prevention of such risk, but will allow to move containers/cargo faster and more easily through ports whenever a container inspection will be conducted by pertinent authorities.
Key points to be considered:
1 - Container and cargo contamination can occur for many reasons such as: origin, season, biology of pests, conditions around packing, storage of handling areas, intermodal parking areas, lights that attracts insects, environment factors (wind, rain) and packing procedures (transient pests and previous cargo).
2 - At supply chain interchange points, such as container depots (gate in/gate out), packing location (upon arrival, during packing, when packing is complete), transfer of units full and mt units, export/import terminals when gate in/gate out and transshipment (when loading/unloading to/from ship) and finally upon arrival/during unpacking and before to returning mt units to depots.
3 - The industry can be directly affected in respect to delays for cargo release (quarantine), demurrage charges due to cargo holds, extra handlings and drayage and/or cross stuffing when necessary, cleaning / fumigation process, possible re-export charges and/or cancelling future deliveries, loss of business.
4 - A global concern, and a matter of shared responsibility, by highlighting the importance of the role through collaboration and partnership with authorities with the goal of awareness, to prevent and to maximize the communication and preventive actions by each stakeholder.
5 - All industry participants, need to be aware of the risk of penalties for not complying with biosecurity requirements for the individuals involved, which will vary and can be most serious. Enforcement agencies can issue an Infringement Notice, enforceable undertaking, injunction, civil penalty order and any combination of or all of these options. The most serious offences can lead to criminal prosecution and disqualification from engaging in any conduct that may be conducive to a biosecurity.Best Practices & Recommendations: The mitigation techniques listed below are best practices in protecting against contaminants, however, they do not fully guarantee that shipments, containers and cargo will remain free from contaminants. It is up to each entity which forms part of the supply chain to ensure that they are adhering to agricultural pest and contaminants requirements, by following the rules of each country and/or port destination.
Best Practices & Recommendations: The mitigation techniques listed below are best practices in protecting against contaminants, however, they do not fully guarantee that shipments, containers and cargo will remain free from contaminants. It is up to each entity which forms part of the supply chain to ensure that they are adhering to agricultural pest and contaminants requirements, by following the rules of each country and/or port destination.
Ensure conveyance is clean before loading / stuffing.
Keep vegetation near facilities mowed, as these areas can harbor insects and rodents.
Sweep, vacuum, wash the containers and trailers prior to stuffing / loading.
Properly store and cover the pallets, dunnage, crates etc.
Store trailers / Containers away from natural areas and/or avoid placing over soil or vegetation.
Few links to be consulted/suggested:
The following links provide the directives and/or guidelines:
International Plant Protection Convention: https://www.ippc.int