Title: The changing role of classification societies in international shipping practice

Authors: Ekaterina Anyanova

Addresses: I. Kant University of Russia, Koshevogo 68 21, 236011 Kaliningrad, Russia

Abstract: Classification societies play an important role in the |safety net| of the shipping industry. The class societies are not dependent on governments. They set national and international technical rules during the processes of construction and further exploitation of vessels. Class societies are not only able to give certification to the vessels, but even give some guidance on the proper implementation of the new rules or practical recommendations as regards difficult technical or legal issues. The current system of the functioning of the classification societies leads to a kind of unhealthy competition, since the classification society is ultimately forced to heed the ship-owner|s opinion, who is paying them for certification and other services. Whether the role of the classification societies should or could be diminished in the aftermath of the occurred |prestige| incident in general has remained a disputable issue and no further steps have been taken in this direction.

Keywords: classification societies; shipping; International Maritime Organization; IMO; safety net; vessel certification; implementation guidance; recommendations; ship owners; influence.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPL.2008.021235

International Journal of Private Law, 2008 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.358 - 367

Published online: 12 Nov 2008 *

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