Bureau Veritas is now issuing both classification and statutory e-certificates following successful pilots with ship owners and flag states. Bureau Veritas digital certificates may now be issued on behalf of 52 flag states, representing 72% of the Bureau Veritas classed fleet.
Patrick Le-Dily, Vice-President, Legal Compliance & Regulatory Management, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore commented, ‘With a significant number of flag states providing their support to this project we now expect to see the rapid development of e-certification. The pace of that development should increase as more flag states come on board.’
Bureau Veritas implemented the electronic signature feature of the new digital certificates working with Cert Europe, electronic signature experts. Cert Europe is certified in accordance with applicable technical requirements and specifications for class and statutory certification and supports digital certification for the Bureau Veritas Group. In 2017, Bureau Veritas issued more than 50,000 e-certificates for different services including the inspection of shipping containers.
‘We continue to digitise the class business,’ commented Laurent Hentges, Vice-President, Operational Excellence and Information Systems.
‘Our e-certification capability now provides the industry with the opportunity to benefit from further digital efficiency – reducing administration, reducing costs and improving accuracy with peace of mind, under-written by a secured solution.’
‘Bureau Veritas solutions are scalable, to anticipate possible technology developments. For example e-certificates data could be moved from Bureau Veritas system into a blockchain, where the maritime data could be shared and made directly transparent to the involved stakeholders.’
Bureau Veritas e-certificates display the usual content and layout of class and statutory documents and they incorporate an electronic signature. Every time a Bureau Veritas surveyor goes on-board a vessel a new version of the e-certificate is issued to reflect either the endorsement or the renewal of the required certification. Endorsement, managed via e-certification, requires that no document now will need to be manually signed and stamped.
Certificate authenticity and validity can be verified via a secure online web portal using a QR code, URL or search via the certificate’s unique tracking number.
Bureau Veritas e-certificates have been developed in compliance with IMO guidelines FAL 5/Circ.39/Rev 2, which invites flag state administrations to ensure adequate national legislation is in place for the use and acceptance of electronic certificates.