The Liability of Classification Societies by Nicolai I. Lagoni download in iPad, ePub, pdf
Classification societies enforce statutory requirements on behalf of flag and port states yet they are not government agencies themselves. In particular, classification societies may be authorised to inspect ships, oil rigs, submarines, and other marine structures and issue certificates on behalf of the flag state.
Twelve of these are members of the International Association of Classification Societies.
This is in part related to legal liability of the classification society. They have the power to impose sanctions yet they also compete for the business of those who come under their scrutiny. At that time, an attempt was made to classify the condition of each ship on an annual basis. Classification surveyors inspect ships to make sure that the ship, its components and machinery are built and maintained according to the standards required for their class.
As shipowners are increasingly held accountable by class for their performance and actions, they are expecting nothing less than the same of classification societies. Today, it must be examined in light of the fact that hospitals, health professionals, accountancy firms, and even government agencies are all now held legally liable for their negligence. See Ice class as an example. Similar developments were taking place in the other major maritime nations.
This survey process covers diesel engines, important shipboard pumps and other vital machinery. The purpose of this system was not to assess safety, fitness for purpose or seaworthiness of the ship. Other professionals customarily minimise the risk through different forms of insurance arrangements and increasingly the societies have done the same.
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