Japanese classification society ClassNK has put their stamp on their first-ever US-flagged ship, the 2008-built, 7,985 dwt oil product tanker SLNC PAX, owned by Schuyler Line Navigation Company (SLNC).
This vessel was previously owned by North Sea Tankers under the Malta flag and classed by Bureau Veritas.
In a conversation with SLNC’s Christopher Hughes this morning, he notes that the SLNC PAX was acquired to replace a Maersk Line vessel on a Far East refueling contract and that their other ship is also US-flagged. Both ships operate internationally, yet neither are Jones Act compliant as the SNLC Pax was built in China and the EOT Spar was built in Denmark.
When it came to re-flagging and re-classing the SLNC PAX, Hughes notes that “it was not straightforward, yet MARAD was supportive of their plans as they were keen to have new US-flagged vessels in the fleet. This doesn’t mean however, that corners were cut.” He notes that while the ship was IMO compliant, gaining U.S. Coast Guard compliance for the machinery on board, safety equipment, etc was a bit of a process and required the changeout of a few items.
“Given the necessity to re-flag the ship, re-classing the ship at the same time made the most sense,” added Hughes.
In an emailed statement, ClassNK notes that since 2011, their surveyors have been authorized by the USCG to carry out the Load Line (LL) and Tonnage (TM69) survey for US-flagged ships. In December 2012, their authorization was extended enabling ClassNK to render the full range of services for survey and certification for the SOLAS, MARPOL and AFS conventions, as well as to perform ISM Audits on behalf of the United States flag administration. They note this service commenced with the classification of the MT SLNC PAX.