Gross tonnage (GT, G.T. or gt) is a nonlinear measure of a ship's overall internal volume. Gross tonnage is different from gross register tonnage. Neither gross tonnage nor gross register tonnage should be confused with measures of mass or weight such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.
Gross tonnage, along with net tonnage, was defined by the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969, adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 1969, and came into force on 18 July 1982. These two measurements replaced gross register tonnage (GRT) and net register tonnage (NRT). Gross tonnage is calculated based on "the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship" and is used to determine things such as a ship's manning regulations, safety rules, registration fees, and port dues, whereas the older gross register tonnage is a measure of the volume of only certain enclosed spaces.
The International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 was adopted by IMO in 1969. The Convention mandated a transition from the former measurements of gross register tonnage (grt) and net register tonnage (nrt) to gross tonnage (GT) and net tonnage (NT). It was the first successful attempt to introduce a universal tonnage measurement system.
Various methods were previously used to calculate merchant ship tonnage, but they differed significantly and one single international system was needed. Previous methods traced back to George Moorsom of Great Britain's Board of Trade who devised one such method in 1854.
The tonnage determination rules apply to all ships built on or after 18 July 1982. Ships built before that date were given 12 years to migrate from their existing gross register tonnage (GRT) to use of GT and NT. The phase-in period was provided to allow ships time to adjust economically, since tonnage is the basis for satisfying manning regulations and safety rules. Tonnage is also the basis for calculating registration fees and port dues. One of the convention's goals was to ensure that the new calculated tonnages "did not differ too greatly" from the traditional gross and net register tonnages.
Both GT and N... ...read more