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Thursday, February 27, 2020 

International ship classification society IRClass MD Suresh Sinha (pictured) has asserted that classification societies are looking beyond their traditional roles as regulators and exploring ways in which they can leverage their technical expertise to stay relevant to the industries they serve.

A marine engineer by training, Sinha was speaking in Doha, Qatar, to industry leaders and decision makers from the Middle East and beyond, who had met to discuss issues concerning the sustainable development of the maritime and logistics sectors.

Sinha noted that the maritime sector is rapidly changing due to technological advancements and tightening regulations on environmental protection and safety, and it is incumbent upon classification societies to support these changes.

“Class societies are increasingly seen not just as regulators but also as enablers who assist the industry in implementing regulation through their technical expertise”, he said.

Sinha argued that: “class societies have an important responsibility to ensure that new equipment and technology are tested, approved, validated and implemented in an effective and timely manner to comply with the regulatory changes”.

He touched on the role of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and its members, and concluded by stressing the importance of quality as the cornerstone for all maritime stakeholders: “As the maritime industry tackles disruptions and uncertainties brought about by digitalisation and regulatory changes, the commitment to quality has become a non-negotiable prerequisite for any classification society. If you cannot afford quality, you cannot be in the business of shipping. You either play the (quality) game or you’re not in the game.”

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