Testing required for your existing forklift scales to be approved for either AMSA method 1 or method 2 weighing.

Any existing scale that you have can be tested to the complex set of tests as stipulated by the Federal Government Department called National Measurement Institute (NMI) for that type/capacity scale. The scale does not have to be a Trade Approved scale, but it must pass these complex set of tests before you can use that scale to determine the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) for any container that is going onto a vessel that is on the sea. It is important that certified test masses (known as Regulation 13 test masses) are used for the testing of the scale. You can ask for a copy of the Regulation 13 certificate that covers each of the test masses that will be used in the testing for your records.

AMSA has specified 2 ways that an export sea container can be weighed to determine its VGM.

Simply called Method 1 and Method 2.

Method 1 – Weighing the loaded sea container as one complete unit (Total Weight).

Scales used to determine the sea containers VGM weight can be part of the following types of equipment:-

  • Large capacity Forklifts – fitted with either forks or spreader bar
  • Reach Stackers
  • Frames on the ground fitted with load cells
  • Semi trailer side lifters
  • Wharf cranes
  • Straddle carriers
  • Jacks installed with built in scales
  • Weighbridges

This covers a very diverse range of scales built onto these types of equipment.

For calibration purposes when the scale is part of the machines computer management system, it may be essential for that type of machines technician who is also experienced in calibrating that specific type of scale to be present during all testing. NMI have different types of tests applicable for each type of scale application, and a licensed scale technician registered with NMI that holds the appropriate testing licences will know the correct tests to complete and all the technical complexities for that test.  For scales on Forklifts and Reach Stacker the specific NMI license is known as a Class y(b) license which very few scale technicians hold. All of the Instant Weighing scale technicians are some of a very few technicians that hold this NMI Class y(b) license.

Low Capacity Forklift scales working off the hydraulic pressure – Method 1

Forklift 8t cal IMG_2410 (2)

Large Capacity Forklift scales working off the hydraulic pressure – Method 1

As there will be many different weight combinations required to do the complex NMI forklift scale testing to conform to AMSA standards, a 20 foot flat rack (as below) or 40 foot flat rack will be required to accommodate all the verified test masses.

Weigh Bridge – Method 1

Large Portable Weigh Pads – Method 1

Sea Container Weighing Frame – Method 1

Sea Container handling side lifter – Method 1


Strainstall container weighing system (CWS) – Method 1


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Strainstall portable container weighing system (CWS Portable) – Method 1

Strainstall pic 1 Strainstall pic 2

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Method 2. – Weighing each individual pallet or item as it is being placed into the sea container. You must weigh each pallet or item as it is being placed into the sea container (including all packing and tie down equipment) lock the doors and then to that total weight is added the tare weight marked on the sea container, and you have the VGM weight.

Types of scales that can be used in these cases are:

Forklift scales – scales either working off the hydraulic system or the very accurate load cell scales

Platform scales of all sizes and capacities.

Having the sea container sitting on a load cell framework whilst being loaded.

Each of these types of scales have their own NMI testing procedures. Remember Regulation 13 test masses must be used to test the scales.

Written test reports are an essential paper trail that must be kept for audit by AMSA. During audits conducted by AMSA many test reports have been found to be non compliant. All of Instant Weighing written test reports examined by AMSA as part of an audit have been approved.

This is the service that Instant Weighing provides for you and your industry. Call Instant Weighing now.

Certified/Not Certified Forklift scales using load cells – Method 2

Certified/Not Certified Platform scales – Method 2

Forklift analogue scales working off the hydraulic pressure – Method 2

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