Chairman of IACS Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, Speaking at the Posidonia, identified the need for classification societies and IACS itself to be adaptable and prepared for change, while at the same time staying true to the core purpose of classification.
Mr. Ørbeck-Nilssen said that over the past year great progress had been made in making classification able to deal with the digital transformation of shipping:
I’m pleased to see the progress that was made in modernising the concept of class, to adapt to the digital transformation we see in shipping today. I say transformation because the progress has truly been astonishing. IACS has embraced the challenges and changes ahead, to support the industry – contributing to the development of a safer and more secure maritime world.
As far as automation is concerned, an IACS working group examined all the relevant resolutions, to identify which standards can be regulatory barriers to autonomous ship operations. The findings included barriers regarding machinery and electrical systems, safety systems, hull structures and survey procedures. In the future, a pilot project will start to find ways to overcome these barriers.
Moreover, in order to help the maritime ensure the cyber-resilience of their assets, IACS established a joint industry working group focused on cyber safety.
Speaking about IACS, Mr. Ørbeck-Nilssen noted that the association has revised its membership criteria. In addition, a new internal benchmarking process helps members improve their performance, while also increasing the transparency of member’s quality performance.
In a press conference before of Posidonia, Mr. Ørbeck-Nilssen said that the shipping market was probably at the bottom of the cycle and looks forward to continuing modest upward growth: European yards had experienced a renaissance, on the basis of a strategy to specialise in high technology vessels.
He also mentioned that decarbonising shipping would not impact specific ships in the short term, but that requires concrete policy measures and the development of an action plan by IMO.
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