The International Union of Marine Insurance has reiterated its full support for members of IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) in resisting attempts by the European Union to push through a regulation for IACS members and non-IACS members to accept each other’s class certificates on a “no questions asked” basis. The proposed acceptance would cover materials, equipment and components of ships.
If such a regulation is introduced, it means that all class societies will have to accept other certificates at face value without any review or testing.
In other words, an IACS society would have to accept a certificate issued by a non-IACS society (albeit recognised by the EU) for a main engine on a ship classed by the IACS society, with corresponding liability consequences.
IUMI warns against the consequences of this proposal, which it says is politically motivated and of no benefit to underwriters and shipowners. It joins other organisations, and the US government, in protesting at the dangerous consequences involved.
On December 2nd, during the current meeting in London of the maritime safety committee of the International Maritime Organization, this matter was raised by several delegations. The IMO’s secretary-general was then instructed – by a vast majority of the delegations present – to voice IMO’s concerns since this proposed regulation impinges on the sovereignty of states and will have adverse consequences on security.
Speaking in New York, IUMI president Deirdre Littlefield (pictured) said “the regulation clashes with the drive by IUMI and others to maintain the standards of ships to the highest state of reliability and to avoid substandard vessels.”
The IUMI president added: “It undermines the classification process and could lead to a dangerous dual system. “One system would accommodate the mutual recognition as regulated by the EU, and the other, imposed by the underwriting community, would not accept a class certificate without a guarantee that the class society had actually executed the certification.”