International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and Lloyd’s Register

Expected working life of a ship is in the region of 15 to 25 years. But, during shipping recessions life of a ship might go below 15 and a ship might be scrapped. During ship building many shipowners have their own particular preferences and style. A few ship types are mass-produce and a ship must not only be efficiently designed, but a ship must also be soundly built, and the certificate of an independent body as to quality of design and construction may help a shipowner to convince an insurance underwriter that ship is seaworthy. Such independent bodies are known as Classification Societies. There are numerous Classification Societies but the oldest, one of the largest and perhaps most famous, is Lloyd’s Register. International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) was founded in 1968, and IACS members classify around 90% of the world’s GT (Gross Tonnage). International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) consists of 12 members. International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) agreed common shipbuilding rules which came into force in 2006. In maritime industry, there are about 40 small classification societies which are not all IACS members. In its original state, when the Lloyd’s Register was started in 1760, it was known as the ‘green book’ and it was for the exclusive use of underwriters. In order to obtain Lloyd’s class, a ship must be built under the scrutiny of the Class Society’s surveyors and ships strength and construction must satisfy the Class Society’s rules. Class Society’s rules apply to the machinery of the vessel. A ship must undergo regular periodical surveys to maintain ship’s class. Engines, machinery parts, boilers, screw shafts and a variety of specific items, depending on the type of ship, are also subject to periodical surveys in accordance with the society’s rules. In the UK, classification is voluntary but few shipowners would or could operate without classification. Not only the underwriters that the shipowners have to convince of a ship’s seaworthiness but also the charterers, shippers, financiers, various cargo interests and the port state authorities of the countries the ship will visit.