Strength Through Unity
Classification societies face one major issue today. That is to define the scope of class and to ensure that the great reservoir of technical strength which class represents is put firmly behind a drive towards ever safer shipping. The challenge for all of us is to harness the strength of class by getting all parts of it working together, rather than dissipating it by working individually in different directions.
Within that challenge there are two distinct and difficult issues. One is technical, the other philosophical. First, the philosophical point. Who should set standards for ships' structure? Today, we have the IMO, which makes rules and regulations for shipping, and we have a number of individual classification societies, which have all developed different detailed rules for construction of ships.
It is an untidy situation, which has developed for historic reasons. But in fact, it is a system, which has served shipping well, fostering technical innovation, and allowing massive gains in productivity as ship types evolve. Our ships have never been stronger, nor safer, nor our seas cleaner. But the industry we serve is unhappy with the current situation, and so are some flag states. And frankly, the public and politicians cannot understand it. It is time for a change. The change is simply that we have to move together to a new framework in which IMO nation states do what they do best, which is to set the acceptable standard of safety the world wants from ships.
Then class societies can work together to do what they do best, which is produce detailed harmonized rules that deliver the standards set by IMO. We can make that change, and IACS has already taken the first steps towards doing so, by agreeing to work in a unified and co-operative manner to produce common classification rules for newbuilding scantlings.
The first issues to be tackled will be double hull bulkers and tankers, to be followed by all ship types.
Other stories from August 2003 issue
- Letters page: 9
- Admiral Loy, Grace Allen Receive Silver Bell Honors page: 10
- Carrier for a New Energy Source page: 11
- Exhaust System Could Be Expanded to Entire Fleet page: 11
- Bollinger Delivers Supply Boat to Seacor page: 12
- Confused Seas page: 14
- Concordia Again Leads Tanker Innovation page: 16
- Intermarine Launches G5 Oltramonti page: 17
- Bottom Line: It's Not Just A Paint Job page: 18
- Hempel Extends Range page: 18
- Nichols Bros. Launch Sternwheeler Cruise Ship page: 23
- Keppel to Deliver Maersk Rig Early page: 23
- Evergreen Orders 10 Post-Panamax Containerships page: 24
- USS Ronald Reagan Commissioned page: 25
- Littoral Combat Ship: It's Down to 3 page: 26
- Manitowoc, Kvichak Team for USCG Boats page: 29
- MV Manukai Christened at Philly Shipyard page: 30
- Emergency Sends S.S. Matsonia to Pearl Harbor Yard page: 30
- SENESCO Provides Major Facelift for NOAA page: 31
- Northrop Grumman Christens San Antonio page: 31
- Power to the Surveyor page: 32
- Wartsila: A Fountain of Ideas page: 33
- What Should be the Role of Class? page: 34
- RIB Report Northwind's Enforcer Provides Special Services page: 38
- Rough Water "New RIB on the Block" page: 40
- Salvors Forge Their Way into the Future page: 42
- Geislinger Delivers Record Sized Coupling page: 51
- Alstom Alspa Drive Fitted on Reasearch Vessel page: 51
- DNV's Five Points Fight Substandard Ships page: 55
- Strength Through Unity page: 55