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In selecting your service provider, ask them whether their Auditor offers you the following:

  • More than 30 years’ experience in matters maritime
  • More than 6 years spent as a Deck Officer on foreign going ocean vessels
  • Personally involved in the inspection and packing of more than 30 000 containers with a massive range of cargo types
  • Appointed by insurers, ship owners and cargo interests worldwide to manage risks and investigate losses throughout Southern Africa for more than 20 years
  • A High Court expert witness
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Maritime Law from University of Natal
  • Personal commercial experience in warehousing; container handling & import / export
  • Specialised container packing and securing consultant for Class 1 explosives; high security items ( US Embassies) and nuclear materials
  • An ongoing consultative relationship preparing your business and service providers for the CTU Code

International Maritime Organisation

In order to address safety problems at sea and on shore arising from container shipments that have incorrect weight declarations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) made amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

The mis-declaration of container weights has resulted in:
  • Numerous casualties to vessels
  • The lives of ship’s crew and stevedores being placed at risk
  • Damage to equipment e.g. ships lifting appliances, shore cranes and lifting gear
  • Cargo being left behind because vessels are unexpectedly overloaded

In 2014 they introduced Guidelines Regarding the Verified Gross Mass of a Container Carrying Cargo (MSC 1/Circ1475). The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new requirements go into effect on July 1, 2016. The SA maritime industry was advised of the SOLAS amendments, through Marine Notice 11 of 2015, distributed on 26th June 2015.

  • Prior to loading cargo units on board ships, the shipper shall ensure that the gross mass of such units is in accordance with the gross mass declared on the shipping documents.
  • Any shipping container leaving from any port in the world must be accompanied by a shipping document signed by the shipper on the bill of lading listing the verified gross mass of a container in order to be loaded onto a ship.
  • Weighing must be done on scales calibrated and certified to the national standards of the country where the weighing was performed.
Failure to provide this information may result in the master of the vessel refusing to load the container.

SOLAS Regulations

SOLAS regulations provide for two separate methods to obtain the verified gross weight of containers:

Method 1 – weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment.

Method 2 – weighing the packages and cargo items including all packing and securing equipment and adding this to the tare weight of the container, using a certified method approved by the competent authority, or its authorized body.

In South Africa, the method used for weighing the container’s contents under method 2, is subject to certification and approval as determined by SAMSA. Companies which are authorized to use method 2 are registered on a database maintained by SAMSA.

CERTIFICATION

Method Two Certification is done in three easy steps:

The Marine Audit certification process involves completing the online application form, followed by an on-site audit of your operation by an accredited auditor. Once certified you get exclusive access to our on-line client platform.

STEP 1

Apply
Online application

Complete the online application in full with document submissions as required. This information forms the basis of the inspection and is also used to determine the fee. Once the form has been completed in full a quote will be generated.

STEP 2

Site Visit
Onsite audit and assessment

Once an online application has been received; assessed for completeness; and payment made, the date of the physical site inspection will be confirmed by email. A Marine Auditor will then visit your company to carry out the audit.

STEP 3

Certification 
Receive your certificate

The certificate is valid for 5 years. The auditor will carry out ad hoc monitoring audits. In order for the certificate to remain valid, any shortcomings found must be rectified immediately.

Multiple packing facilities

The online application allows for multiple sites. Please note that full information for each site has to be supplied. The quote will be formulated with this information in mind. Each facility’s methods, paperwork and record keeping, relevant to packing and weighing the Shippers’ goods will be assessed as part of approving the shipper to use Method 2 to verify the gross mass of a packed container.

3rd Party Packing

When subcontracting the packing and weighing operation, the Shipper is still the responsible party for providing the verified gross mass of packed containers. The 3rd party’s methods, paperwork and record keeping, relevant to packing and weighing the Shippers’ goods will be assessed as part of approving the shipper to use Method 2 to verify the gross mass of a packed container.

Certificate validity period

The certificate is valid for 5 years. The auditor will carry out ad hoc monitoring audits. In order for the certificate to remain valid, any shortcomings found must be rectified immediately.

Certification Fees

A monthly retainer fee is charged – which covers certification, all site visits and assistance in keeping your company certified for the full period.
Fees vary depending on the number of containers handled; number of sites that need to be visited and the geographical location of those sites.

GENERAL & MARINE?

Why choose us?

We will be available as your ongoing support for the period that your certificate is valid with us to ensure that you continue to meet the SAMSA requirements. We share our knowledge and experience from a marine surveying; logistics and systems background to ensure success.

By building a long-term relationship we will deliver long-term sustained quality and peace of mind for our clients.

We are dedicated to certify shippers in compliance with the guidelines for Method 2.


We partner with our clients, by providing ongoing assistance and support, to make sure they not only meet the certification requirements, but that they maintain the same standard of excellence for the full certification period.

We keep our clients updated with the latest developments of what will be the one of the largest challenges facing the container shipping industry globally. To supply extensive, continuously updated Q&A covering the range of issues that shippers, carriers, 3PLs and terminals need to be aware of.
Our auditors have extensive knowledge of specific industry sectors, local regulations, markets and language that enables them to provide solutions adapted to your needs and ensures that you meet the certification specifications and requirements.

Using the ongoing working relationship, we will advise our clients of any changes in the SAMSA mandate timeously, and similarly we will advise SAMSA of any relevant changes in our clients’ operations.


The Marine Audit certification process involves completing the online application form, followed by an on-site audit of your operation by an accredited auditor.

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