Implementation of nine of the ten sweeping safety initiatives announced by ABS, DNV and LR on 15 March will take place on 1July as scheduled, the three classification societies have announced. An aggressive timetable was set as it was considered imperative that the classification profession reconfirm its credibility as an effective self-regulating mechanism for the marine industry. The one initiative that requires more time due to its complexity, is the establishment of common basic design criteria including hydrodynamic loads and corrosion margins for standard ship types. The process has commenced and progress will be monitored.
From the outset the most contentious issue for the industry was the announced intention to align ISM with other safety control measures by linking issuance of SMC certificates to the classification of the vessel. There has been a wide range of industry representation on this issue and the three societies are in full agreement with the responsible owners that the ISM Code can be an effective means of enhancing the safety and improving the quality of ship operations. The experience over the last three years has demonstrated that the current system, which permits a period of up to three years between audits, does not provide an effective mechanism to monitor the management of maintenance on board a vessel.
The other initiatives are:A common scheme for identifying, targeting and monitoring vessels that are not being satisfactorily maintained between surveys.Strengthen the Transfer of Class Agreement (TOCA).The introduction of an Early Warning System (EWS) to exchange information on sister ships.Require two surveyors in attendance for ESP surveys.Co-operate with respect to the use of exclusive surveyors and introduce common standards for training and qualification of surveyors.Harmonize Condition Assessment Programs (CAP).Increase transparency of information.
Information on these initiatives was presented to the recent IACS Council meeting in Tokyo and the three societies are gratified that the other members of IACS have agreed to review those proposals that are applicable for possible adoption by all members of the association.