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Shipping & Logistics update: Focus on Mozambique

16 February 2016
– 2 Minute Read


In this edition we focus on Mozambique and explore some of the opportunities and pitfalls in Mozambique of which you should be aware.

In early March this year, we addressed South Africa’s implementation of the new amendments to The Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter VI here.

Briefly, the position is that shippers are required to verify the gross mass of containers prior to their being loaded on a ship. The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) has now issued Marine Notice No 18 of 2016 which provides guidelines for the implementation of container weight verifications, which is available here.

There are two methods for verifying gross container mass: Method 1 is weighing a packed and sealed container, while Method 2 is weighing the contents of a container and adding it to the weight of the container itself using a certified method. SAMSA has accredited certain companies to act on its behalf to approve shippers using Method 2. A list of accredited companies is available here.

Shippers should be aware that each container must be weighed separately. Importers should take note that, while containers may be shipped from foreign ports without being first weighed in the foreign port, any containers which are shipped through South African ports must comply with the SOLAS container weighing requirements. If a packed container is delivered to port without the shipper providing the verified gross mass of the container, the container should not be loaded onto a ship until the verified mass is provided. SAMSA will enforce the SOLAS requirements via inspections, continuous audits and reporting non-conforming containers and or cargo information by third parties. If it is identified that a shipper has misdeclared the gross mass of a packed container, SAMSA may require an Admission of Contravention to be made and a fine paid, failing which the shipper may be prosecuted. In the event that a shipper was approved to use Method 2 and misdeclares a container weight, its approval may also be suspended or revoked and it will thereafter be obliged to use Method 1.

Finally, it should also be noted that Transnet (acting through Transnet Port Terminals and Transnet National Ports Authority), the owner and operator of all commercial ports in South Africa, recently issued a statement that it will not be providing a weighing service to shippers. Contact details for Shipping & Logistics Practice:

National helpline: +27 21 480 7920

National e-mail address: [email protected]