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Monday, April 23, 2018

“LEADING SOCIETIES LAUNCH SWEEPING SAFETY INTIATIVES”

ISTEC had the opportunity to discuss the initiative of the three major Class Societies, LR, ABS and DNV on their ten measures published on 15 March.

ISTEC welcomed the quality initiative by the three Societies in principle, while noting that several of the announced measures are either already agreed to by IACS to be effective from 1 July this year or are not yet sufficiently detailed to fully understand the intent and the action which is needed for their implementation.

ISTEC expressed serious concern with these Class Societies’ approach on the SMC Certificates and Class procedures. ISTEC believe that Class Societies have misconceptions on how to perform and implement the ISM Code. They have only a limited number of properly trained auditors and most of the people coming onboard to perform an audit are actually performing surveys. This creates a lot of confusion, to the detriment of the ship and its personnel, but also to the detriment of a proper application of the ISM Code. ISTEC therefore suggested that Class Societies, even the most reputable ones, embark on a training programme not only for their surveyors, but also for their auditors, before proceeding with any other action on the ISM Code. ISTEC also disagrees with the 3 Class Societies’ initiative which seems to say that only Class Societies can do a proper ship audit and furthermore, that only the Society which classes the ship could do a proper ship audit. ISTEC stated that it should be the owner’s choice to select who is employed to carry out the ISM Code. These auditors have the right to seek for annual or even more frequent audits should they have grounds to justify such. The argument used by Class that “they do not see the ship for two and a half years” and a further statement saying that an annual audit would allow them to see the condition of the ship indicates that Class appears more minded for inspections rather than audits.

ISTEC also stressed the importance that ALL Class Societies (at least the IACS Members) should be invited to be more active and liase with the LR, ABS and DNV. Further ISTEC believes that the relationships of these three Societies with IACS and with other IACS members is a matter solely for these organisations.