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Friday, June 26, 2020 

The Council of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has held its 81st session (C81) by video-conference, a first in the 50-year history of the Association.

Chaired by Indian Register of Shipping Executive Chairman, Arun Sharma, C81 addressed key issues relating to the technical and regulatory challenges of the future as well as those arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. C81 recognised the impact Covid-19 is having on shipping operations and reaffirmed its determination to support the industry and IMO. It stressed the determination to maintain and minimise the impact on Quality Management System certification by prioritising audit types and use of remote auditing. The increased use of remote surveys was discussed, with the overriding objective that the results of remote surveys are to be of same quality and consistency as those conducted with a surveyor on board.

C81 was pleased to note the good progress made in the development of its data-driven policy which will be rolled out across the Association this year.  In this context, C81 welcomed the launch of Recommendation 166 on Cyber Resilience. On quality matters, set against the background of the decreasing trend in Port State Control detentions, Council was pleased to confirm that all IACS Members had once more successfully completed their periodic membership review.

C81 marked the conclusion of the Indian Register’s Chairmanship of IACS. IRS Executive Chairman Arun Sharma said: “I am most proud, however, of IACS support to industry and IMO during the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting a flexible and pragmatic approach that nevertheless remains true to the safety and environmental objectives of the classification and statutory regimes.’

Taking over the IACS Chairmanship on 1 July 2020 is Koichi Fujiwara, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ClassNK, who said: "I am taking on the Chairmanship of IACS at an especially challenging time for the industry.  My objective is to ensure that IACS continues to meet the needs of its stakeholders by providing the necessary technical leadership and guidance to facilitate the smooth introduction and harmonisation of new technologies and regulations in order to maximise the benefits of digitalisation and help accelerate decarbonisation."

Mr Fujiwara said he will strive for the further strengthening of IACS to make it more responsive and efficient to deal with external challenges, while enhancing Members’ quality performance. He continued: "Mr Sharma’s Chairmanship over the past year has not only seen substantial progress in a number of key areas but he has also maintained the Association’s momentum during the considerable challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. I inherit an organisation in strong shape and one that is positioning itself well for the future. I look forward to leading IACS through the next stages of its journey."

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