Korean Register rolls out e-certificates to all vessels

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton
ShipInsight

18 December 2018


Following a successful pilot programme, Korean Register (KR) is rolling out IMO-compliant electronic class and statutory certificates across its classed fleet with immediate effect. KR claims that the new paperless certificates will cut administrative tasks for customers, saving time and costs and reducing instances of human error and fraud.

The move to e-certificates is in direct response to industry and customers calls to speed up and modernise administrative tasks. Currently 32 flag state administrations have given KR authorisation to issue e-certificates on their behalf and KR expects this number to increase in the near future.

The IMO’s FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 (Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic) states that electronic certificates can be treated as equivalent to traditional paper certificates, provided that the certificates and the website used to access them conform to guidelines approved by the IMO and that specific verification instructions are available on board the ship.

"E-certificates are far more secure than paper certificates and reduce the risk of falsification. Once the electronic signature has been certified by KR and a third party, there can be no further manual changes and any attempt to modify the e-certificate will make it invalid. In addition, our online server provides safe, secure internet access to confirm validity and allows easy downloading." said Jong-Eun Choi, head of KR's survey and statutory division and executive vice president of KR.

KR expects the launch of electronic certificates to reduce customers administrative burden, saving time and costs, cutting instances of loss or damage to original paper certificates and minimising PSC issues such as lack of seal, endorsement or missing papers.

KR will start to issue class and statutory e-certificates with flag administration acceptance at the first annual, intermediate or renewal survey after 17 December 2018. E-certificates will also be issued for all new vessels delivered after this date. The latest endorsed and electronically signed certificates are always updated and available in KR' e-Fleet website.