IACS Council Meeting with industry

By Lars Lange, IUMI Secretary General

IUMI was, amongst other maritime associations, invited to attend the high-level meeting of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Council with industry in December 2017. IACS informed the participants of recent developments and exchanged views on IACS’ current work and plans, including work related to low sulphur fuels in preparation for the 2020 sulphur cap and cyber safety.

IACS Chairman Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen (DNV GL) introduced a series of measures agreed during IACS’ 76th Council Meeting (C76) to further strengthen IACS’ quality through a range of initiatives focusing on quality operations, transparency and ongoing modernisation.

Building on recent work done to revise the IACS Membership Criteria, an agreement was reached to revise IACS internal benchmarking criteria for existing members along with an initiative to investigate ways to further strengthen the practical implementation of the IACS Quality System Certification Scheme “QSCS”, including the oversight exercised by the IACS Operations Centre. These initiatives, supported by several internal changes, reflect Mr. Ørbeck-Nilssen’s avowed commitment made at the start of his tenure to ensuring that quality remains central to IACS ethos and operations.

C76 also agreed on four key focus areas for the Accredited Certification Bodies’ (ACB) audits of IACS members in 2018 on the ISM Code, Conditions of Class/Recommendations, Risk Management and Training & Competence.

The IACS Council also supported another of the Chairman’s commitments - transparency - by agreeing to include in the Annual Report the provision of key industry statistics and establishing new procedures for the proactive distribution to industry partners and interested stakeholders of IACS Resolutions.

In terms of modernising Class, C76 noted the good progress made in reviewing IACS Resolutions to identify areas for revision that will facilitate the development and implementation of new technologies, including ship autonomy.

IACS Council continues to support work related to the International Maritime Organization, including ongoing work relating to the IMO's Goal Based Standards programme for oil tankers and bulk carriers, and to delivering on the focus areas (GBS, cyber and GISIS improvements) annexed to the established IMO/IACS Memorandum of Agreement.