MARINA accredits 4 local classification societies

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  • The newly accredited groups are DNV AS Philippine Branch; RINA Classification and Certification Philippines Inc.; Lloyd’s Register Asia; and KR Manila Representative Office
  • Their certificates of accreditation are valid until April 2027
  • The accreditation came after a moratorium on such accreditations lapsed

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has accredited four classification societies for ships in the domestic trade.

DNV AS Philippine Branch; RINA Classification and Certification Philippines Inc.; Lloyd’s Register Asia; and KR Manila Representative Office are accredited under MARINA Circular (MC) MS-2020-01. Their certificates of accreditation are valid until April 2027.

The four join other International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) members Bureau Veritas SA, American Bureau of Shipping, and Class NK, accredited under MC MS-2020-01 in 2021.

Under MC MS-2020-01, local classification societies refer to an organization authorized by MARINA to conduct classification services for ships engaged in the domestic trade.

The accreditation of the four classification societies follows the lifting of a moratorium on such groups from February 9 to May 10, 2022 under MARINA Advisory No. 2022-09.

READ: MARINA lifts moratorium on accreditation of ship classification bodies

MARINA, through MA 2021-08, suspended the accreditation of classification societies and entities with similar purposes after the effectivity of MC MS-2020-01 lapsed on October 16, 2021.

MC MS-2020-01, issued in October 2020, contains revised rules on accrediting classification societies and entities for the purpose of classification of ships in the domestic trade. The circular aims to enhance accreditation of local classification societies and monitor their performance to ensure the safe operation of domestic ships.

Moreover, under MA 2021-35, members of IACS who wish to engage in the classification of ships involved in domestic trade were also required to secure accreditation under MC MS-2020-01.

During MC MS-2020-01’s one-year period of implementation until October 16, 2021, no non-IACS member local classification society was able to secure accreditation, while only three IACS members were accredited.

In a January 14, 2022 letter, the Philippine Liner Shipping Association requested MARINA to lift the moratorium.

Philippine Inter-island Shipping Association executive director Pedro Aguilar told PortCalls the moratorium lifting is important because classification is required by carriers’ protective and indemnity (P&I) coverage clubs, or by some clients such as petroleum companies.

Many domestic shipping vessels, particularly old ones, are accredited by non-IACS member local classification societies.

Aguilar said shipping lines can either transfer from a local classification to an international classification, but this may be difficult and costly, especially for old vessels.

Or they could undergo an additional ship survey by MARINA to get a Ship Survey Certificate (SSC), as advised by MA 2021-62.

Aguilar noted, however, that MARINA will have to issue a memo or advisory stating that the SSC is equivalent to a local classification so that the shipping lines’ P&I coverage clubs and clients requiring classification will honor the SSC. – Roumina Pablo