Any vessel over 100 GT (Gross Tonnage) irrespective of whether it is a cargo vessel, fishing vessel or passenger vessel, has to be registered and linked to a particular state/flag..
Registration grants the ship physical and legal protection of that flag state which may be applied to vital areas such as safety of cargo and life of those on board the ship..
By linking a ship to a State, the system of ship registration indicates that that State has the right to protect that ship in international law and upon registration, the ship will be assigned an Official Number by the ship registry which becomes it identification..
The registration of a ship plays an important role in ensuring safety and security of the ship and significantly contributes towards the protection and preservation of the marine environment..
As per IMO regulations, all ships must be surveyed in order to ensure that the ships under their register/flag are structurally sound and subscribes to design and safety standards and issue certificates that establish a ship’s seaworthiness..
The Flag State of the vessel is the party responsible for the above survey and inspection.. This is achieved through Ship Classification..
Ship classification is defined as “the verification of the structural strength and integrity of the essential parts of a ship’s hull and its appendages, as well as the authentication of the reliability and function of its propulsion and steering systems, and power generation, alongside other features and auxiliary systems built into the ship to maintain essential onboard services for safe operation“..
As per the IMO, “The Flag State (“Administration”) may “entrust the inspections and surveys either to surveyors nominated for the purpose or to organizations recognized by it” (SOLAS Chapter 1, regulation 6)“..
In practice, these “recognized organizations” are often Classification Societies..
Classification Societies classify ships, establish and maintain technical standards for the construction and operation of a vessel, ensure that the ship’s design and workings are in accordance with the standards set by their class..
Russian Register looses classification membership with IACS
As per a press release by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), IACS Council has adopted a Resolution that the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping’s membership of IACS is withdrawn with immediate effect.
Following the recent, tragic developments in Ukraine and resulting actions taken by
governments and other entities worldwide including, in particular, sanctions in the UK where IACS is domiciled, IACS Council has been continuously reviewing the developing sanctions landscape to ensure it complies fully with all legal requirements.
“The above decision was part of an ongoing evaluation, and following the receipt of external legal advice, IACS Council today agreed that the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping’s (RMRS) ongoing membership of IACS is no longer tenable.” stated the release.
As such, and under the terms of its Charter which requires agreement from 75% or more of its Members, IACS Council has therefore adopted a Resolution that the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping’s membership of IACS is withdrawn with immediate effect.
“IACS deeply regrets the circumstances that have resulted in this decision and hopes that
hostilities in Ukraine will cease as soon as possible, and that peace will return to the region.” said the press release.
Dedicated to safe ships and clean seas, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) makes a unique contribution to maritime safety and regulation through technical support, compliance verification, and research and development. More than 90% of the world’s cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance Rules and standards set by the twelve Member Societies of IACS.
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