The world’s largest classification society, ClassNK, announced Friday that it has been granted expanded authorization from the United States Coast Guard that will enable them to carry out a full range of surveys for the SOLAS, MARPOL and AFS conventions, as well as ISM Audits on behalf of the United States flag administration.
Tokyo-based ClassNK has been active in the United States since opening its first office in 1962, but has primarily focused on the blue water sector of the American shipping industry. Today’s announcement is expected to significantly expand the companies involvement in sectors like inland and coastal shipping, as well as offshore energy.
Commenting on the expansion, ClassNK Chairman and President Noboru Ueda highlighted the importance of the United States maritime industry, saying: “At ClassNK we have served the American blue water shipping community for more than 50 years now, but with this authorization from the USCG we will now be able to greatly expand our operations to include coastal, gulf, and inland shipping, as well as the growing offshore energy and wind sectors.”
ClassNK began working with the USCG to expand its authorization to cover U.S. flag vessels and earned USCG authorization to carry out certification for the Load Line (LL) and Tonnage Measurement Conventions (TM69) in 2011. The expansion of recognition by USCG to cover SOLAS, MARPOL, and ISM among other conventions makes it possible for ClassNK to issue a wide range of certifications for U.S. flagged vessels in every part of the industry.
Ueda added: “Both blue and brown water shipowners and operators face a number of new challenges related to new environmental and safety regulations, and with the this recognition from the USCG, we will now be making significant additions to our survey network and human resources in America in order to better support the maritime industry throughout the United States.”
Including this authorization from the USCG, ClassNK is now authorized to carry out statutory surveys on behalf of 106 flag administrations.