On 1 July 2016, international regulations became effective requiring the shipper to establish the so-called verified gross mass (VGM) of packed sea containers.

There are two methods for establishing the VGM – either weighing the packed container or adding the individual items in the container to the container's own weight according to a certified method.

The regulations apply to ships that initiate an international voyage after 1 July 2016.

It has been agreed internationally that, until 1 October 2016, it is possible for containers that have initiated a sea voyage prior to 1 July 2016 to continue their voyage to their final destination without being furnished with a VGM. This applies also if the container is re-loaded on its voyage. Similarly, there is an understanding that the computer systems that are to support the exchange of the VGM between the shipper and the various shipping companies and ports are not yet fully functional.
The Danish Maritime Authority has – in close cooperation with a number of business organisations – drawn up three short guidelines describing how to implement the regulations.

In addition, to the three guidelines, the Danish Maritime Authority has drawn up an overview of frequently asked questions.

The guidelines are available here:


Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs
Steen Møller Nielsen, Senior Adviser
+45 72 19 63 76