What are Classification societies? What are its functions?

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Asked on June 14, 2021
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Classification societies are bodies who lay down standards for the construction and maintenance of ships. Classification societies act under the authority delegated to them by the flag administration. Classification societies publish rules and regulations which are principally concerned with the strength of the ship, the provision of adequate equipment, and the reliability of the machinery. Ships may be built in any country to a particular classification society’s rules, and they are not restricted to classification by the relevant society of the country where they are built. Classification is not compulsory but the shipowner with an un classed ship will be required to satisfy governmental regulating bodies that it has sufficient structural strength for assignment of a load line and issue of a safety construction certificate.

The classification process for the vessels comprises:
1) Assessment of the design during and after construction
2) Surveys at the time of construction, entry in to class and modifications to ensure that the vessel meets the criteria required by the rules
3) Issuance of a ‘Certificate of Classification’ and entering of the vessel’s particulars in to the society’s Register of Ships
4) Periodical surveys as required by the rules to ensure continued maintenance of conditions of classifications.
5) Additional surveys as considered necessary in view of damages, reported poor condition of the vessel by port state control authorities, etc.

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Posted by marinetales
Answered on June 14, 2021