IACS introduces new measures for digital age

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) is launching a number of initiatives to adapt to digitalisation and the rapidly changing maritime industry, incoming chairman Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen announced at a press conference in London today.

“Our industry is becoming more complex,” said Ørbeck-Nilssen, also ceo of DNV GL - Maritime. “Digitalisation is changing not only the way the shipping business is conducted, but the systems themselves and the way they interact.”

Over the coming year IACS will seek to reinforce its role as a leading technical association by conducting a review of its membership criteria, quality systems and performance measurement, effectively introducing KPIs for new and existing members, announced the incoming chairman. Further details are due to be announced shortly after new proposals have been circulated to existing members for comment.

The association will also prepare for the future by “modernising classification in anticipation of the developments in digitalisation and new technologies,” Ørbeck-Nilssen continued, all the while focusing on safety and quality. In this respect IACS was expanding into new areas “such as cyber security, assurance of data quality and sensor-equipped cyber-physical systems”, he said, developing the technical requirements needed for advances such as greater ship autonomy, electronic certificates and remote survey technologies such as drones.

Finally, the association will be deepening its ongoing commitment to “transparency and continuity”, concluded the new chairman, working in close cooperation with the IMO, for which it acts as technical advisor.

Asked by Seatrade Maritime News about IACS’ role in helping IMO draw up its ‘Roadmap’ for carbon emissions reduction over coming months, Ørbeck-Nilssen replied that the decision on what reduction should be targeted over what time frame and from what base was a “political” one, but that IACS members would be ready to assist shipowners with the technical measures needed to achieve whatever result was decided upon.

Posted 06 September 2017

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Bob Jaques

Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review

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