What is a classification society?

Classification societies are also entrusted to perform technical inspections such as recognized organization, but to do this, the organization must be following the R.O. Code.

A classification society is a non-governmental organization which designs, develops and maintains technical standards related to the construction and safe operation of ships and all type of marine structures.

For instance, a condition of class can be imposed due to a piping system on deck found in poor maintenance condition. Lack of proper maintenance. Manifolds sized or corroded. Isolation system not effective.

Classification society Its main function is to ensure the effective maintenance of the ship with respect to its hull, machine and other components, to do this, classification societies design and developed standards of classification called rules of class which determine the structure, length, calculations, among others.

Recognized Organization (R.O.) v/s Classification Societies

A recognized organization is a private marine organization that operate and act under the authority of The Code for Recognized Organizations (RO Code) was adopted by the International Marine Organization by resolutions MSC.349(92) and MEPC.237(65). According to Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate dependent of Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of Netherlands, “The Code serves as the international standard and consolidated instrument containing minimum criteria against which organizations are assessed towards recognition and authorization and the guidelines for the oversight by flag States”.

A Recognized Organization acts under the authority of SOLAS which establishes “Under the provisions of SOLAS 1974/1988 regulation I/6, MARPOL Annex I regulation 6, MARPOL Annex II regulation 8, MARPOL Annex IV regulation 4, MARPOL Annex VI regulation 5, LLC 1966/1988 article 13, TONNAGE 1969 article 7 and AFS 2001 Annex 4 regulation 1, the inspection and survey of ships shall be carried out by officers of the flag Administration. The flag Administration may, however, entrust the inspections and surveys either to surveyors nominated for the purpose or to organizations recognized by it.”

Flag State also known as Marine Administration is a concept that identify the nation State where a ship belonging to and is the institution which must monitor and control the condition of the ship, responsibility that has been established in the Art. 90 and 91 of UNCLOS. The Marine Administration has the authority to give the right of a ship to rise its flag and has the authority to stablish the condition for the proper registrations of vessels such as, standards that are applicable, conventions that a vessel must to be complying, and has the authority to delegate this technical function to organizations recognized by it.

Usually, classification societies are also entrusted to perform technical inspections such as recognized organization, but to do this, the organization must be following the R.O. Code.

Independent inspections performed by classification societies are more specific than statutory surveys and this they are normally an indispensable requirement to be accepted by P&I clubs and underwriters. In spite of not all vessel are required to be under class, is a good practice because add value to maritime process in the industry.

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What is a condition survey or pre-purchase inspection?