In 2017, class societies still have different practices when applying statutory certification on behalf of Flag States. The chaos now is in IOPP harmonisation/de-harmonisation due to BWM Regulations.

We have received a large number of comments & questions from many in the maritime industry about the important issue of IOPP re- and de-coupling.

It is not a secret that the re-coupling by ignoring the last renewal survey has a sole purpose of delaying the date for compliance of a ship with the D-2 standard of the BWM Convention. This is in contrast to what the MEPC 71 compromise agreement actually intended.

The fact that this is a grey legal area does not relief class societies (especially the leading ones) from taking the lead and showing by example how this issue should be handled. That is exactly what NK has done by proposing to move the anniversary date of the ship.

On a broader aspect, we react especially strongly about this issue as we see class societies, led by IACS, becoming more of a ship owner NGO rather than the independent technical advisors to the IMO & the industry, which is the role society has entrusted them.

We can include the ABS report on performance of BWMS, the practice of re-coupling by DNV GL and other stances of IACS at the IMO as examples of this new role class societies are taking, probably mainly driven by the fact that they are competing for revenues from those same ship owners they are supposed to regulate, independently.


The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of GREEN4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.



Jad Mouawad (M.Sc. Marine Engineering) founded Mouawad Consulting AS in September 2013 in Norway after previously heading the Environmental Protection section at Det Norske Veritas (currently DNV GL). Mouawad Consulting AS currently delivers Type Approval advisory services for manufacturers of BWMS and retrofit services for ships. We are working with more than 120 companies, including ship owners, manufacturers of BWMS, class societies, governments, and shipyards. Mr. Mouawad is part of the Norwegian delegations on ballast water to the PPR and MEPC. He is regularly called upon as an expert in ballast water matters at international conferences and meetings.