Classification

Are classification societies above the law?

THERE is no alternative to classification societies. They play a vital and increasing role in ship safety. Flag states rely almost completely on class. Only class has the depth of knowledge, experience and expertise needed to meet public expectations of ship safety. As the world demands higher standards of ship safety, operation and environmental protection, the burden of...

Exposing class liability

CLASSIFICATION societies perform both public functions, under statutory authority as delegates of government, and private functions, as ship surveyors. They are therefore employed by both governments and private interests such as shipowners, insurers, etc. They are responsible for certifying whether vessels comply with various state and international standards concerning, for...

Class reform

Brian D Starer, senior partner at Holland & Knight LLP, calls for an International Convention on Classification Societies to help ensure surveyor independence SEAMEN have long been treated as wards of the US admiralty courts in need of special protection. Surprisingly, courts of admiralty have similarly guarded against any encroachment of classification societies’ rights...