Classification Societies

PATH: Boat Building & Refitting » Statutes & Standards »


PAGE CONTENTS: (clickto go to each section on this page)
⇒ Topic Treatment: Introduction, Overview, Background, Details, Directories,+.
⇒ Related Resources: Topics, Directories, Vendors, Products, Media,+.
Visit our FEATURED ARTICLES Home Page. Thanks to our amazing contributors.
This Month's Top 20 Most Popular Articles on our EAB website.
⇒ Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages: Page Types, Page Contents,+.
⇒ What our nonprofit Anchors Aweigh Academy and its EAB website have accomplished.
Members must SIGN IN to gain access to Members Only areas of this website.
Become an Academy Member and gain access to additional pages and programs!
⇒ Comments: Submit To ⇒ Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@").


A classification society is a non-governmental organization that establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures. The society will also validate that construction is according to these standards and carry out regular surveys in service to ensure compliance with the standards. To avoid liability, they explicitly take no responsibility for the safety, fitness for purpose, or seaworthiness of the ship.

Responsibilities

Classification societies set technical rules, confirm that designs and calculations meet these rules, survey ships and structures during the process of construction and commissioning, and periodically survey vessels to ensure that they continue to meet the rules. Classification societies are also responsible for classing oil platforms, other offshore structures, and submarines. This survey process covers diesel engines, important shipboard pumps and other vital machinery.

Classification surveyors inspect ships to make sure that the ship, its components and machinery are built and maintained according to the standards required for their class

History

In the second half of the 18th century, London merchants, shipowners, and captains often gathered at Edward Lloyds’ coffee house to gossip and make deals including sharing the risks and rewards of individual voyages. This became known as underwriting after the practice of signing one’s name to the bottom of a document pledging to make good a portion of the losses if the ship didn’t make it in return for a portion of the profits. It did not take long to realize that the underwriters needed a way of assessing the quality of the ships that they were being asked to insure. In 1760, the Register Society was formed — the first classification society and the one which would subsequently become Lloyd’s Register — to publish an annual register of ships. This publication attempted to classify the condition of the ship’s hull and equipment. At that time, an attempt was made to classify the condition of each ship on an annual basis. The condition of the hull was classified A, E, I, O or U, according to the state of its construction and its adjudged continuing soundness (or lack thereof). Equipment was G, M, or B: simply, good, middling or bad. In time, G, M and B were replaced by 1, 2 and 3, which is the origin of the well-known expression ‘A1’, meaning ‘first or highest class’. The purpose of this system was not to assess safety, fitness for purpose or seaworthiness of the ship. It was to evaluate risk.
Samuel Plimsoll pointed out the obvious downside of insurance:

The ability of shipowners to insure themselves against the risks they take not only with their property, but with other peoples’ lives, is itself the greatest threat to the safe operation of ships.
The first edition of the Register of Ships was published by Lloyd’s Register in 1764 and was for use in the years 1764 to 1766.

Bureau Veritas (BV) was founded in Antwerp in 1828, moving to Paris in 1832. Lloyd’s Register reconstituted in 1834 to become ‘Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping’. Where previously surveys had been undertaken by retired sea captains, from this time surveyors started to be employed and Lloyd’s Register formed a General Committee for the running of the Society and for the Rules regarding ship construction and maintenance, which began to be published from this time.

In 1834, the Register Society published the first Rules for the survey and classification of vessels, and changed its name to Lloyds Register of Shipping. A full-time bureaucracy of surveyors (inspectors) and support personnel was put in place. Similar developments were taking place in the other major maritime nations.

The adoption of common rules for ship construction by Norwegian insurance societies in the late 1850s led to the establishment of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) in 1864.RINA was founded in Genoa, Italy in 1861 under the name Registro Italiano, to meet the needs of Italian maritime operators. Germanischer Lloyd (GL) was formed in 1867 and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) in 1899. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) was an early offshoot of the River Register of 1913.

As the classification profession evolved, the practice of assigning different classifications has been superseded, with some exceptions. Today a ship either meets the relevant class society’s rules or it does not. As a consequence it is either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of ‘class’. Classification societies do not issue statements or certifications that a vessel is ‘fit to sail’ or ‘unfit to sail’, merely that the vessel is in compliance with the required codes. This is in part related to legal liability of the classification society.

However, each of the classification societies has developed a series of notations that may be granted to a vessel to indicate that it is in compliance with some additional criteria that may be either specific to that vessel type or that are in excess of the standard classification requirements. See Ice class as an example.

Flags of Convenience

The advent of open registers, or flags of convenience, has led to competition between classification societies and to a relaxation of their standards.

Flags of convenience have lower standards for vessel, equipment, and crew than traditional maritime countries and often have classification societies certify and inspect the vessels in their registry, instead of by their own shipping authority. This made it attractive for ship owners to change flag, whereby the ship lost the economic link and the country of registry. With this, also the link between classification society and traditional maritime country became less obvious – for instance Lloyd’s Register with the United Kingdom and ABS with the United States. This made it easier to change class and introduced a new phenomenon; class hopping. A ship owner that is dissatisfied with class can change to a different class relatively easily. This has led to more competition between classes and a relaxation of the standards. In July 1960, Lloyds Register published a new set of rules. Not only were scantlings relaxed, but the restrictions on tank size were just about eliminated. The other classification Societies quickly followed suit. This has led to the shipping industry losing confidence in the classification societies, and also to similar concerns by the European Commission.

To counteract class hopping, the IACS has established TOCA (Transfer Of Class Agreement).
In 1978, a number of European countries agreed in The Hague on memorandum that agreed to audit whether the labour conditions on board vessels were according the rules of the ILO. After the Amoco Cadiz sank that year, it was decided to also audit on safety and pollution. To this end, in 1982 the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU) was agreed upon, establishing Port State Control, nowadays 24 European countries and Canada. In practice, this was a reaction on the failure of the flag states – especially flags of convenience that have delegated their task to classification societies – to comply with their inspection duties.

Today

Today there are a number of classification societies, the largest of which are Bureau Veritas, the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas. Classification societies employ ship surveyors, material engineers, piping engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers and electrical engineers, often located at ports and office buildings around the world.

Marine vessels and structures are classified according to the soundness of their structure and design for the purpose of the vessel. The classification rules are designed to ensure an acceptable degree of stability, safety, environmental impact, etc.
In particular, classification societies may be authorised to inspect ships, oil rigs, submarines, and other marine structures and issue certificates on behalf of the state under whose flag the ships are registered.

As well as providing classification and certification services, the larger societies also conduct research at their own research facilities in order to improve the effectiveness of their rules and to investigate the safety of new innovations in shipbuilding.

There are more than 50 marine classification organizations worldwide, some of which are listed below.

More from Wikipedia.


Directory of Classification Societies

Name Abbreviation Date Head office IACS
Lloyd’s Register LR 1760 London Yes
Bureau Veritas BV 1828 Paris Yes
Austrian Veritas/Adriatic Veritas AV 1858–1921 Trieste N/A
Registro Italiano Navale RINA 1861 Genoa Yes
American Bureau of Shipping ABS 1862 Houston Yes
DNV (Det Norske Veritas) DNV 1864 Oslo Yes
Germanischer Lloyd GL 1867–2013 Hamburg Yes
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) NK 1899 Tokyo Yes
Russian Maritime Register of Shipping RS 1913 Saint Petersburg Yes
Hellenic Register of Shipping HR 1919 Piraeus No
Polish Register of Shipping PRS 1936 Gdańsk Yes
Korean Classification Society KCS 1947 Pyongyang No
Croatian Register of Shipping CRS 1949 Split Yes
Bulgarian Register of Shipping BRS (БКР) 1950 Varna No
CR Classification Society CR 1951 Taipei No
China Classification Society CCS 1956 Beijing Yes
Turk Loydu TL 1962 Istanbul No
Korean Register of Shipping KR 1960 Busan Yes
Vietnam Register VR 1964 Hanoi No
Registro Internacional Naval RINAVE 1973–2004 Lisbon No
Indian Register of Shipping IRCLASS(IRS) 1975 Mumbai Yes
International Register of Shipping IRS 1993 Miami No
Shipping Register of Ukraine RU (РУ) 1998 Kiev No
Dromon Bureau of Shipping DBS 2003 Piraeus No
Overseas Marine Certification Services OMCS 2004 Panama No
Iranian Classification Society ICS 2006 Tehran No
Maritime Bureau of Africa MBA 2014 Cape Town No
International Maritime Classification IMC 2015 Dubai No
Dutch Lloyd DL 2018 Eindhoven No
Asia Classification Society ACS 1980 Tehran No

More from Wikipedia.

Lloyd’s Register
Bureau Veritas
Registro Italiano Navale
American Bureau of Shipping
DNV GL
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK)
Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
Hellenic Register of Shipping
Polish Register of Shipping
Phoenix Register of Shipping
Croatian Register of Shipping
Bulgarian Register of Shipping
CR Classification Society
China Classification Society
Korean Register of Shipping
Turk Loydu
Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia
Vietnam Register
Register of Shipping Albania
Union Marine Classification Society
Registro Internacional Naval
Indian Register of Shipping
International Naval Surveys Bureau
Asia Classification Society
Brazilian Register of Shipping
Registro Cubano de Buques
International Register of Shipping
Ships Classification Malaysia
Isthmus Bureau of Shipping
Guardian Bureau of Shipping
Shipping Register of Ukraine
Orient Register of Shipping
Overseas Marine Certification Services
Intermaritime Certification Services
Iranian Classification Society
Venezuelan Register of Shipping
Tasneef-Emirates Classification society
Mediterranean Shipping Register
International Classification of Ship Malaysia

Please do not try to contact any of the vendors on this website via our EverythingAboutBoats.org Phone, Email or Comment Systems. Your message will NOT be forwarded to the vendor.
Contact vendors directly.

If other vendors should be added to this page, please submit their info via email To:
Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@").


Related Media
with Links to EAB's Media Overview and Creator Profile Pages

Media with Bold Titles are part of our Academy eLibrary!
Academy Members can view the Media by clicking on its Bold Title Link to go to its
EAB overview page and then scrolling down to the "Academy eLibrary" section for its link.

To help us alphabetize the media lists below, each leading grammatical
article ("The" - "A" - "An") has been moved to the end of the title.
DS = Data Source code

Media Directory Under Development ⇐

MEDIA TYPE:
Title — Creators (Authors‚ Editors‚ Illustrators‚+) – Source (Publishers‚+) DS
Books:
Title – + (Notes) — Creator – Source
Magazines:
Title – + (Notes) — Creator – Source
Videos:
Title – + (Notes) — Creator – Source
Websites:
Title – + (Notes) — Creator – Source

If media should be added to this list, please submit info or link via email To:
Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")


NOT AN ACADEMY MEMBER?
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and dozens of excellent programs including our eLibrary!

CLICK HERE to view ALL the books, magazines, videos, etc. in our Academy eLibrary.
Media are also listed by category on the Topic Pages found on the Right Sidebar
CLICK HERE to donate any books, magazines or videos, etc. to our Library.


Related Resources:
Topic Pages, Directories, Vendors, Products, Media, etc.
Categorized by Topic & Hierarchy w/Links.

2 – BOAT BUILDING, OUTFITTING, REFITTING & REPAIR: (Incl. DIY).
2.1 – Boat Designing Schools.
2.2 – Boat Designers: (Naval Architects, Boat Plans, Kits,+).
2.3 – Statutes & Standards.
2.3.1 – Laws by Country.
2.3.2 – Industry Standards.
2.3.2.1 – International Maritime Organization (IMO).
2.3.2.2 – International Standards Organization (ISO).
2.3.2.3 – American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).
2.3.2.4 – National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
2.3.3 – Classification Societies.
2.3.3.^ – UK: Lloyd’s Register.
2.3.3.^ – US: American Bureau of Shipping.

4 – BOAT INSPECTION:
4.1 – Types of Marine Surveys.
4.2 – Marine Surveyors by Country.
4.3 – Marine Surveying Schools.

7 – BOAT INSURANCE:
7.1 – Types of Insurance Policies.
7.2 – Insurance Companies.

16 – MEDIA w/Creator Directory: (Authors, Editors, Publishers,+) + Academy eLibrary.
16.1 – Documentation: (Catalogs, Ads, Specs, Parts, Manuals, TechVids, Bulletins, Recalls,+).
16.2 – Books: (Bound, eBooks,+).
16.3 – Magazines: (Incl. Back Issues,+).
16.4 – Videos: (How-to-Tutorials, Documentaries, Travelogues,+).
16.5 – Websites: (Incl. Forum Posts, Tech Tips, Tech Notes,+).


If there is anything on this webpage that needs fixing, please let us know via email To:
Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")

THIS ARTICLE IS STILL EVOLVING!
The page may contain rough drafts that include raw source materials.



Visit our FEATURED ARTICLES Home Page
to see examples of our website's comprehensive contents!

Thanks to our amazing contributors for the steady flow of articles, and to our dedicated all-volunteer staff who sort, polish and format them, everyday we get a little bit closer to our goal of
Everything About Boats. If you would like to submit an article,
See Submitting Articles.


— TOP 20 MOST POPULAR ARTICLES —

Ford Industrial Power Products Diesel Engines
How to Identify Ford Diesel Engines
Ford 2715E
Lehman Mfg. Co.
Detroit Diesel 8.2
Universal Atomic 4
Chrysler & Force Outboards
Eska Outboard Motors
Perkins Engines
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Allison Transmission
American Marine Ltd (Grand Banks)
Boat Inspection
Types of Marine Surveys
Marine Surveyors by Country
Boat Builders By MIC
Beta Marine
Waterwitch
American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC)
USCG NVIC 07-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls


Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages.

This website consists almost entirely of four types of webpages as follows:

(Note in the examples above that these pages form a natural hierarchy)
(The unnumbered "^" pages are usually listed alphabetically in any tables)

Website pages contain the following: (Depending on the type of page)

  • PATH (Shows chain of EAB pages w/links that lead to this page).
  • PAGE CONTENTS (With links to each section).
  • PAGE BODY (The type of page determines it's contents).
    • TOPIC PAGE (Topic Treatment: Introduction, Overview, Background, Details,+.).
      • (Smaller Directories are usually contained in the Topic Pages).
      • (Larger Directories usually have their own dedicated page – See next item).
    • DIRECTORY PAGES (Listings are Topical, Alphabetical and/or by Locale).
    • VENDOR PAGE (Vendor's Profile, Contact Information, Products, Services,+).
    • PRODUCT PAGE (Product's Overview, Details, Features, Specs, Documentation,+).
      • (Media created by a vendor is treated as a product on its own Product Page).
  • RELATED RESOURCES: Topics, Directories, Vendors, Products, Media, + (w/Links).
  • PAGE TAIL — Begins with the big red and includes the following:
    • The Anchors Aweigh Academy –  EverythingAboutBoats.org Logo.
    • A link to our Featured Articles Home Page.
    • Top 20 Most Popular Articles. (The section that appears just above this section).
    • Layout of the EverythingAboutBoats.org Website's Pages. (This very section).
    • What we have accomplished so far. (The very next section below).
    • Members must Sign-In to gain full access to Expanded Pages & Programs.
    • Sign-Up (if not already a member).
    • Public Comments (about the website & about the page).
  • RIGHT SIDEBAR (with links to Main Topic Pages).

What we have accomplished so far.
Anchors Aweigh Academy and its EverythingAboutBoats.org website.

  • Published over 300 website main topic webpages, many with full articles on the topic. See our Website Contents or the Right Sidebar for the listing of the main topic pages.
  • Published over 9,000 marine vendor webpages, all with their contact information, most with a description of their products and services, many with product documentation, specifications and independent reviews. (incl.: Boat designers, boat building tools, material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, boat builders and dealers, yacht brokers, marine surveyors, boat insurers, boat transporters, skippers and crews, boatyards and marinas, yacht clubs, boat rentals and yacht charters, boating, seamanship and maritime schools, marine law attorneys and expert witnesses, boat refitters and repairers, book authors and publishers, and video producers)
  • Acquired over 120,000 pages of product documentation including Catalogs, Brochures, SpecSheets, Pictures, Serial Number Guides, Installation Manuals, OpManuals, Parts Schematics, Parts Bulletins, Shop Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Service Bulletins, and Recalls. And have made all viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website.
  • Acquired over 1,200 books and magazine back issues in our academy library and so far have made over 700 viewable to Academy Members through our EAB website.
  • Published over 500 DIY How-To articles about boat design, construction, inspection, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and repair. We are working hard to do more.

We are currently formatting and polishing the Anchors Aweigh Academy online and hands-on courses. Our Marine Surveying course has proven to be excellent for both the beginner and the seasoned surveyor, and especially helpful to the Do-It-Yourselfer.


Current Academy Members must SIGN IN to gain FULL access to this
website including expanded pages and valuable Academy programs
like our Academy eLibrary and our Ask-An-Expert Program!

If your membership has expired, CLICK HERE to Renew.

IF YOU ARE NOT YET AN ANCHORS AWEIGH ACADEMY MEMBER,
CLICK HERE to discover how you can become a Member and gain FULL access to
thousands of expanded pages and articles, and dozens of excellent programs
WITH JUST A SMALL DONATION!


Comments for Public Viewing

Submit any comments for public viewing via email To: Comments♥EverthingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@")
Please remember to put this webpage's title in the subject line of your email.
All comments are moderated before they appear on this page. See Comment Rules.

General Comments About the Website

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks. You inspire us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♥EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♥" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

Comments About This Particular Page

FROM Name: “Be the first to comment about this page.”