By Resolution MSC.380 (94) adopted on November 21, 2014 during its 94th session, the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in response to the multiple incidents caused due to container weight misdeclarations in maritime transport, amended Rule 2 of Chapter VI, Part A, of the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS), by establishing the mandatory declaration of the gross mass of packed export containers before shipment.

This obligation came into force in Cameroon on 1 July 2016 by Decree No. 2016/2566 / PM of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, to lay down procedures for the enforcement of the new regulation. Since then, shippers are required to verify the weight of packed containers before shipment, in particular by providing the verified gross mass to the captain of the ship, sufficiently in advance to be used in the ship stow planning process.

With a view to ensuring an effective implementation of the said amendment, the Minister of Transport, in application of article 17 of the aforementioned Decree, issued an order to lay down the organisation and functioning of a Committee tasked with monitoring the implementation of the SOLAS amendment on 16 August 2016.

Under the SOLAS amendments, there are two permissible methods for weighing containers by the shipper or their representative.

  • Method 1. Weighing the stuffed container using calibrated and certified equipment;
  • Method 2. Weigh all packages and cargo items; including pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container; and add the "tare" weight of the container to the sum of the individual weights using a certified method.

Method 2 is not possible for shippers of bulk goods such as iron ores or grains.