ClassNK Chairman & President Calls for IACS to Bring Classification into the 21st Century
ClassNK Chairman and President Noboru Ueda called upon the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to play an expanded role in the future as he stepped down from his position as Chairman of the IACS Council. “Even as IACS must continue to maintain the highest quality standards,” said Mr. Ueda, “I hope that IACS will strengthen its relationship with the wider maritime community, help expand the role of classification societies to better meet the changing needs of the maritime industry, and bring classification into the 21st century.”
Mr. Ueda’s remarks were made at the conclusion of the IACS Council’s 63rd meeting which was held in Kyoto from the 21st to 23rd of June. With his term as Chairman of the IACS Council ending on July 1st, Mr. Ueda oversaw a year that brought a number of changes to the august organization, including the addition of the Polish Register of Shipping (PRS) and the Croatian Register of Shipping (CRS) to IACS. Excluding the Indian Register of Shipping, which switched from associate membership to full membership in the association last year, the two European class societies are the first new full members to join IACS.
“While IACS has faced many real challenges over these past years, we have also made incredible achievements. In addition to accomplishing my own personal goals as Chairman, we have made great strides as an association over this past year. With our transition to a larger, more robust, and more transparent organization now complete, I am confident that IACS can make an even greater contribution to the growth and progress of the entire maritime industry,” said Mr. Ueda.
Chairman Ueda’s Three Goals
Upon assuming his role as Chairman, Mr. Ueda set out three clear policy goals for his one-year term of office, including 1) Making proactive technical contributions to the maritime industry and the IMO, 2) Better reflecting the needs of the entire maritime industry, 3) and completing IACS’ transition to a more transparent organization. A brief overview of Mr. Ueda’s accomplishments as Chairman is shown below.
1. Making proactive technical contributions to the maritime industry and the IMO
In order to help the industry address the technical and safety challenges raised by GHG emission reduction, IACS submitted draft proposals for establishing a minimum speed requirement for vessels, as well as established a joint working group with shipowners’ and shipbuilders’ associations from around the globe, which began developing new guidelines for ensuring smooth implementation of the IMO’s EEDI scheme.
Moreover, in order to ensure compliance with the Goal Based Standards (GBS) by the IMO’s deadlines, IACS made great progress in the development of the new GBS compliant harmonized Common Structural Rules, which it is on schedule to present to the IMO before the end of 2013. IACS also made progress on the development of other rules and regulations related to GBS implementation.
2. Better reflecting the needs of the entire maritime industry
In order to better reflect the needs and opinions of the entire global maritime industry, Mr. Ueda met with leaders from throughout the world maritime community, as well as called for greater input from Asian shipbuilder’s organizations in the international rule making process. Further, based on a proposal made by Chairman Ueda, the IACS Council agreed to invite the Asian Shipbuilding Experts’ Forum to regularly participate in IACS winter Council meetings alongside the many shipowners’ organization who already take part in the meetings.
3. Completing IACS’ transition to a more transparent structure
As part of an ongoing effort to ensure even greater rationality and transparency in its operations while maintaining the highest quality standards, this year IACS successfully completed the implementation of a new wholly independent, external auditing regime. IACS also successfully implemented new more rational and transparent membership requirements, and after a comprehensive quality review, welcomed CRS and PRS as the first new full members to join the IACS Council
Although his term as Chairman of the IACS Council came to a close on 1 July, Mr. Ueda will continue to serve as Vice-Chairman of the expanded organization for the coming year. As Vice-Chairman Mr. Ueda promised that he would “continue my work to make IACS a stronger and more robust organization, and provide even better service to the maritime industry in the future.”