IACS Chair: Classification Societies Should Join Forces to Adapt to Industry Change

The world’s biggest classification societies need to pull together to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the industry, according to Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Chairman and CEO of DNV GL.

“As our way of working changes, the association has taken a fresh look at its internal procedures. Our focus is to ensure that the services delivered by both new and existing members keep up with regulatory developments and meet the highest quality standards,” Ørbeck-Nilssen said while speaking at Shipping 2018, the Connecticut Maritime Association’s (CMA) annual conference.

As explained, IACS was coming to grips with industry changes through several initiatives, including identification of which standards present potential regulatory barriers to autonomous ship operations. In addition, IACS is supporting the industry by working on the development of a common terminology for different levels of autonomy.

Another issue being tackled by the association is cyber security by addressing common safety issues with interconnected systems, sharing best practices and keeping up to date with new developments. To facilitate the use of modern survey technology, IACS is also taking a fresh look at its survey requirements. As informed, potential revisions could cover advanced non-destructive testing and remote inspection techniques.

“And when everything around us is in motion, class aspires to be a beacon of light setting the course ahead – with modern requirements, transparent processes and the highest quality of service. The industry is changing. Our ways of working may be changing. But the purpose of classification remains the same: To protect life, property and the environment,”Ørbeck-Nilssen added.

As part of his time as Chairman, Ørbeck-Nilssen said he would initiate a review of IACS Resolutions to identify and remove elements hindering the development of new technologies, including ship autonomy. Furthermore, one of the priorities will be the development of procedures relating to the deployment of electronic certificates, while helping to promote their use throughout the industry.