Classification society umbrella body IACS held its 78th council meeting in London last week and celebrated the half century of the organisation founded in September 1968 with a dinner for its industry partners.
Coming immediately after the 100th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, C78 also responded to decisions made at that meeting by agreeing to update its high-level policy paper on Fuel Oil Safety Considerations and immediately initiating next steps with regards to the newly established International Quality Assessment Review Board (IQARB).
On Fuel Oil Safety, the IACS Council reaffirmed that safety issues relating to quality, contamination, combustibility and compatibility need to be mitigated by a combination of measures, including supply sources, design and equipment, and operational measures, to ensure that new fuel oil blends can be used safely. More detail will be provided in IACS revised high-level policy paper on this issue, to be published in Q1 2019.
This is one subject among a series of high-policy papers, that are intended to further IACS commitment to transparency by clearly stating the Association’s stance on key issues. Other existing papers include the use of EEDI to support GHG reduction measures and IMO DCS vs EU MRV, with papers on Ballast Water Management, Cyber Security and Marine Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) to be published shortly.
The IACS Council welcomed the publication of the final three, of twelve, IACS Recommendations on Cyber Safety. Collectively, this package of measures represents a step change in delivery of cyber resilient ships and provide much needed guidance on how to develop and maintain the cyber integrity of vessels. Noting the extensive industry input that supported the development of these guidelines, C78 reaffirmed that end-user feedback in the practical application of the Recommendations would be fundamental to the success of the second stage of this initiative, which is to transform the 12 recommendations into a single, consolidated and self-contained Recommendation.
On Quality matters, the agreement by the IMO at MSC 100 to a trial of the IQARB marks another significant step towards strengthening the independence of the oversight of IACS QSCS and maintaining its reputation as the Gold Standard for Class Societies. The IACS Council committed to working closely with the IMO Secretariat in delivering the practical support necessary for a successful trial and to reporting back its results to MSC.
Turning to environmental matters, C78 agreed to a new focus area under its memorandum of agreement with the IMO Secretariat. IACS’ expertise will be used to help with the development of the methodology of the data analysis that will be subsequently be used to underpin the establishment of a range of options to address GHG emissions.
At the celebration dinner, guest of honour, IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, delivered a speech in which he praised IACS steadfast commitment and support of the IMO over the past five decades and the importance of IACS, and Classification, to helping industry and regulators rise to the challenges of the future. In his speech to the assembled company, the IACS Council Chair, Jeong-Kie Lee, of the Korean Register, stated ‘my objective is to ensure IACS, after 50 years, remains well placed to develop and implement the standards shipping requires to successfully navigate a more complex regulatory and technical world.’