IMO and EU collide over Class certificate recognition.
In an unusual move IMO's maritime safety committee has instructed the UN agency's secretary-general, Efthimios Mitropoulos, to voice IMO"s concerns over EU plans to force class societies to recognise each other certificates. At yesterday's session the issue was raised by several states and it was argued the proposed EU regulation impinges on the sovereignty of states and would have adverse consequences on security. An IMO spokesperson confirmed that Mr Mitropoulos would convey the concerns of the MSC to the European Commission but could not say when this would be or in what format, letter or in person. The IMO chief has regular meetings with top EU officials.
The International Union of Marine Insurance says it has reiterated its full support for members of IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) in resisting attempts by the European Union to push through a regulation for IACS members and non-IACS members to accept each other"s class certificates on a ?no questions asked? basis. The proposed acceptance would cover materials, equipment and components of ships. IUMI warns that insurers would have no choice but to demand that equipment was actually approved by the class society issuing the certificate.
An IUMI statement says: ?If such a regulation is introduced, it means that all class societies will have to accept other certificates at face value without any review or testing. In other words, an IACS society would have to accept a certificate issued by a non-IACS society (albeit recognised by the EU) for a main engine on a ship classed by the IACS society, with corresponding liability consequences.?
IUMI warns against the consequences of this proposal, which it says is politically motivated and of no benefit to underwriters and shipowners. IUMI says it joins other organisations, and the US government, in protesting at the dangerous consequences involved.
Speaking in New York, IUMI president Deirdre Littlefield said ?the regulation clashes with the drive by IUMI and others to maintain the standards of ships to the highest state of reliability and to avoid substandard vessels.?
The IUMI president added: ?It undermines the classification process and could lead to a dangerous dual system. One system would accommodate the mutual recognition as regulated by the EU, and the other, imposed by the underwriting community, would not accept a class certificate without a guarantee that the class society had actually executed the certification.?