The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Council held its 78th session (C78) in December 2018 in London. Cyber safety, quality and the environment featured prominently in discussions.
The IACS Council welcomed the publication of the final three (of 12) IACS Recommendations on cyber safety. Collectively, this package of measures represents a step change in delivery of cyber resilient ships and provides guidance on how to develop and maintain the cyber integrity of vessels. C78 reaffirmed that end-user feedback in the practical application of the recommendations would be fundamental to the success of the second stage of this initiative, which is to transform the 12 recommendations into a single, consolidated and self-contained recommendation.
On quality matters, the agreement by the IMO at the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 100 to a trial of the International Quality Assessment Review Body (IQARB) marks another significant step towards strengthening the independence of the oversight of IACS QSCS. The IACS Council committed to working closely with the IMO secretariat in delivering the practical support necessary for a successful trial and to reporting back its results to MSC.
On fuel oil safety, the IACS Council reaffirmed that safety issues relating to quality, contamination, combustibility and compatibility need to be mitigated by a combination of measures, including supply sources, design and equipment, and operational measures, to ensure that new fuel oil blends can be used safely. More detail will be provided in an IACS revised high-level policy paper on this issue, to be published in Q1 2019.
The IACS Council also convened its traditional high-level meeting with industry partners including IUMI where a number of key items were discussed including cyber safety, sulphur 2020, data management and the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).
C78 also saw IACS mark its 50th anniversary with a dinner with industry partners. Guest of honour, IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, delivered a speech in which he praised IACS steadfast commitment and support of the IMO over the past five decades and the importance of IACS, and classification, to helping industry and regulators rise to the challenges of the future.