Belgium randomly checks the VGM of containers
In order to increase safety on board ships, since 2016 only containers whose VGM (verified gross mass) has been determined using one of two approved methods and notified to the shipping company may be loaded. As announced in mid-March 2021, Belgian authorities are now randomly checking the weight of containers at four terminals in the port of Antwerp. Import, export and transhipment containers are affected. The selected containers are weighed with a calibrated scale at the terminal in the presence of an inspector and compared with the B/L data. The shipper is charged €175 for each check; if there are discrepancies of more than 5% between declared and actual weight, penalties of up to €5,000 may be imposed.