The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has announced the immediate establishment of a Safe Digital Transformation Panel (SDTP) following the 88th session of the IACS Counci (C88)l in London in December.
SDTP will bring all IACS’ current digitalisation activities within a single forum, encompassing issues such as MASS, cyber safety, data management & exchange and digital assurance, as well as their associated regulatory structures. Like the complementary Safe Decarbonisation Panel, which was launched by IACS at C85 in June 2022, SDTP will focus its attention on the safety implications of today’s digitised ships and foster greater cooperation with industry and equipment manufacturers to meet the evolving needs of the shipbuilding and shipowning communities.
The Council noted “significant progress” towards its safe decarbonisation objectives, in particular its work towards Unified Requirements (UR) in support of battery power, hydrogen and carbon capture is well advanced with an equivalent standard for UR on ammonia as a fuel to be published shortly. IACS is also keen to highlight its collaborations with Flag States, such as the recent Letter of Intent signed between IACS and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to to work together on various maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation initiatives.
Meanwhile returns of IACS’ Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS) audits – the scheme through which IACS verifies that each member society has developed its own internal quality management system – have no returned to pre-Covid levels. Substantial progress was also noted with the International Quality Review Body (IQARB), which is achieving wider recognition at IMO and expanding to include non-IACS ROs and allowing greater flag State participation. IACS’ central role in IMO discussions was underscored by the fact its has contributed more than 150 papers to IMO committees and subcommittees during the past two years.
C88 was also notable for being the last meeting under the Chair of Lloyd’s Register’s chief executive, Nick Brown, whose tenure will be completed at the end of 2023. With effect 1st January 2024 he will be replaced by Roberto Cazzulo, the secretary general of Italian class society Registro Italiano Navale (RINa). Cazzulo has previously made a notable contribution to IACS in 2013-2014, when he chaired IACS during the adoption of common structural rules for tankers and bulk carriers , which became the basis for IMO’s Goal-Based Standards (GBS) verification