Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2014

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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26 Proceedings Summer 2014 Once the design is approved, the class society then audits the building process, as the new vessel cannot be approved as "in class" unless the shipyard complies with the approved design criteria. Once the building phase is completed and the vessel is determined to be in compliance with the rules, it is issued a class certifcate. The vessel then enters the operation phase, where proper maintenance is the most critical factor. Vessel owners are responsible for proper maintenance, and class surveyors perform periodic vessel surveys. For a passenger ship, DNV GL typically assigns two surveyors to attend the vessel and verify the condition of the hull and machinery through a sampling process (up to 100 percent of a system or com- ponent, depending on the results found by the surveyor). A set of annual surveys takes approximately seven days to complete. In addition, there are other periodic surveys at various times throughout the vessel's 5-year class certifcate validity. These include internal boiler inspections, internal examina- tion and pressure testing of tanks integral with the hull, and bottom surveys where the vessel is inspected out of the water (there are provisions for in- water surveys in certain situations). Recognized Organizations Classif icat ion soc iet ies ca n also undertake the role of recognized organization or RO. As an RO, the class society acts on behalf of the vessel's chosen flag administration (fag) to verify compliance with the various international instruments to which the fag is signatory, such as the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea. This role is a natural ft, due to the technical knowledge and experience that class societies possess among their surveyors, auditors, and plan- approval engineers, as well as the worldwide presence of class society survey stations. With its global presence, the class society can quickly respond to survey any damage and discuss the various options that will allow the vessel to return to service sooner. It is impor- tant, however, to keep in mind that as an RO, the class society acts solely on behalf of the fag and not in its individual capacity. Thus, if the damage involves equipment related to the statutory certifcates, the fag (rather than the class society) retains all authority to determine whether to allow the vessel to sail in a condition other than full compliance with the appli- cable international instruments. This means that in cases where an exemption from specifc SOLAS requirements is needed to allow the ship to sail, the class society briefs the fag on the issue and provides technical justifcation for the requested exemption or other equivalency, and then the fag, in its sole discretion, will grant or deny the authorization to proceed. Advisory Roles Another role that class societies often play is that of advi- sor to the owner. Respecting its independent third-party role regarding overseeing compliance with the class rules, a classification society will not provide advice on the safety- critical elements covered by its rules. Thus, areas where a class society can provide advisory services are not safety-critical, although they are still important for the owner. Proper ship maintenance and operation, including such crucial activities as navigation and following up the A surveyor witnesses main engine shutdown tests. All graphics courtesy of DNV GL. Summer2014_22.indd 26 5/13/14 9:45 AM

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