Top Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How to be in compliance with SOLAS regulation “Verified gross mass?

As of July 1, 2016, Amendments to SOLAS chapter VI to require mandatory verification of the gross mass of containers, either by weighing the packed container; or weighing all packages and cargo items, using a certified method approved by the competent authority of the State in which packing of the container was completed.

Krystal Logistics USA will require VGM submission for any international cargo scheduled to depart the first seaport where it is loaded.

Globally, carriers are not allowed to load a packed container for which VGM has not been provided by the shipper in time.

Q2. How to be in compliance with the IMO for my Hazardous cargo?

Dangerous goods transportation requires additional responsibilities, documentation, reporting, identification, packaging, marking, placarding and training.

Hazardous cargo shippers are responsible for:

  • Determining whether a material meets the definition of a “hazardous material”
  • Proper shipping name
  • Class/Division
  • Identification number
  • Hazard warning label
  • Packaging
  • Marking
  • Employee training
  • Shipping papers
  • Emergency response information
  • Emergency response telephone number
  • Certification
  • Compatibility
  • Blocking and bracing
  • Placarding
  • Security pan
  • Incident reporting

Hazardous materials are divided into nine classes depending on the nature of the product. Below is a list of the classes of dangerous goods:

  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Gases
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquid
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids
  • Class 5: Oxidising Substances; Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6: Poisonous (Toxic) and Infectious Substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

It is also important to note that there are products which you may not realize are considered dangerous goods. For example, if food is shipped with dry ice it is technically hazardous cargo. Additionally, certain batteries and household goods (aerosol hairspray) could be classified as dangerous goods.
Different organizations regulate the transportation of dangerous goods depending on the mode of transportation. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulates the international transportation of hazardous air freight. However, hazardous ocean cargo is regulated by the
International Maritime Organization (IMO). The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates the transportation of dangerous cargo via truck and rail within the U.S.

Regardless of the transportation mode, the origin shipper must complete a Shippers Declaration for Dangerous Goods. Click here to see an example of the document.

This form must be completed and submitted to the carrier before the cargo will be loaded upon a vessel, plane, truck or train.
Additionally, there are typically special fees associated with hazardous cargo transportation and handling.Carriers, terminals, ports, warehouses, exam sites, insurance companies and freight forwarders can charge additional fees for dangerous goods.
Regulations for hazardous cargo varies depending on the mode of transportation. Air freight is the most restrictive as there are certain classes which are completely forbidden to travel via air. There are also particular classes which can only be transported on cargo flights. Moreover, there are certain ocean carriers and drayage firms which will not handle hazardous cargo.

Click here to access the Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling and Placarding Guide

Q3. Why need to present an SED “Shipper’s export declaration” to load my cargo?

According to U.S. customs regulations, all export shipments MUST be declared to the U.S. Census Bureau by filing SED in AES at
In order to comply with the U.S. Customs export regulation, international shipping companies enforce the condition on all export from the USA: NO DOCS-NO LOAD. I.e. presentation of required shipping documents, INCLUDING Proof of AES Filing (ITN#) or AES Exemption Legend, must be submitted to international shipping company (international ocean freight carrier: NVOCC or VOCC) used for an international shipping no later than in 72 hours prior to the sea freight shipment departs from the USA.
Sea freight shipments without SED (if not an exempt) CANNOT be released to the export, subject to withhold and penalties related to lack of providing of proper export documentation.

Typical Exempts from filing SED (in general):

  • International shipments containing Household Goods or Personal effects not for sale of total declared value less than US $2,500.00.
  • Domestic shipments (to Hawaii for example). However, SEDs are required for shipments between the USA and Puerto Rico as well as between the USA and Virgin Islands of the United States.

A Shippers Export Declaration is used for two purposes.

  • First, it serves as a census record of U.S. exports. Many reports are generated by the government using these statistics.
  • Second, because the commodity’s export license designation appears on the form, the SED serves as a regulatory document.

This form can be filled out by either your shipper or your freight forwarder (if power of attorney has been recognized). The SED does not leave the United States and does not travel along with the other export documents through the banking channels on the letter of credit or other transactions.
Instead the Shippers Export Declaration is delivered to the exporting carrier (airline or vessel line) and then presented to the U.S. Customs Service at the port of export electronically.