Home » Maritime » Marina to audit class societies

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) will start auditing classification societies in the runup to a mandatory merger program.

Marina will conduct the audit to determine which among the seven classification societies will stay under the merger.

Col. Primo Rivera, Marina deputy administrator for operations told PortCalls the societies have been informed of the measure and will once more be notified for their individual audit.

“We are really pushing for the immediate merger of the class societies as the current structure has resulted in cutthroat competition… safety standards have been sacrificed for better profit margin,” Rivera said.

The Marina safety office is finalizing guidelines for the mandatory merger. The guidelines require Board approval.

Rivera said Marina will also establish its own classification department to serve as an alternative.

The streamlining of the class societies is patterned after Japan where only two groups composed of different class societies — the Japan Government class and another one from the private sector — guarantees business is equally divided among the players while giving operators an alternative.

“In this setup, we can ensure the seaworthiness of vessels plying the local trade and improve maritime safety in the country,” Rivera said.

The seven classification societies compete for the shallow number of vessels plying the local trade.

Big companies such as Sulpicio Lines, Inc., Aboitiz Transport System, Magsaysay Logistics and Negros Navigation have their vessels classed by the Association of International Class Societies before the vessels actually arrive on local shores.

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