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IRClass seeks expansion and recognised status from EU, Singapore

IRClass seeks expansion and recognised status from EU, Singapore
The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) is seeking to expand its global footprints as it aims to obtain a recognised organisation status from the EU and Singapore in the near future, and open new offices in Southeast Asia.

Arun Sharma, chairman and managing director of IRClass, outlined that the classification society is seeking recognition from the EU, and expects further progress on the matter within this year. The recognition would allow IRClass to act as recognised organisation on behalf of EU member states.

“We are in the process of expanding our footprint, and feel we are ready to move forward and to step up confidently,” Sharma told reporters at a media briefing on Friday held in Singapore.

He added that the class society has achieved considerable success among Indian shipowners and it is now necessary to pitch its competence and credibility to global owners.
“We have no doubt we can compete qualitatively and provide the industry with real value for money. We have also gone beyond just providing classification services as we are also into advisory and consultancy,” Sharma said.

As part of its efforts to boost links with the Singapore maritime cluster, IRClass has on Friday convened its first meeting of its Singapore Advisory Committee, which includes key figures from Singapore’s shipping and offshore business community.

The committee’s remit is to inform and offer guidance to IRClass in strengthening and expanding its service to the city-state. IRClass is also in dialogue with Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to obtain a recognised status from Singapore.

In Southeast Asia, IRClass is close to opening an office in Malaysia, and will target new offices in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam for its next move, according to C Sriramamurthy, chief operating officer at IRClass.

“After 2010 when we got our full membership with the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), we started increasing our presence in this area (Southeast Asia). We already have an office in Bangkok, and in the near future we will open new offices plus get recognition from those flag administrations,” he said.

IRClass, an independent ship classification society, has classed close to 1,700 ships including oil tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and chemical tankers, totalling approximately 11m gross tonnage.

“What we are capable by 2020 is to achieve 20m gross tonnage, almost doubled from the 11m gross tonnage today,” Sharma said.