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Monday, February 1, 2021 

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has released the 2021 edition of the IACS Blue Book and the accompanying IACS Green Book, which together summarise the technical output of IACS and, as such, continue to demonstrate IACS’ technical support to the shipping industry through work and investment in technology, innovation, research and development at both classification and statutory levels.

The IACS Green Book is designed for daily use and contains all current IACS Resolutions and Recommendations as well as their History and Technical Background. The Green Book is updated whenever a new or revised IACS Resolution or Recommendation is uploaded on the IACS website. Because the Green Book only contains current material the file-size is more manageable and so better suited to be downloaded and used in the field.

The IACS Blue Book meanwhile, is an electronic library of all technical resolutions adopted by IACS as a result of its technical work and remains the core reference work for the Association containing, as it does, all previous revisions of IACS publications and historical data. It is updated and published once a year. Together, these IACS publications illustrate how the aims and objectives of IACS are delivered for the benefit of international shipping and contain:


  • IACS Unified Requirements which IACS members incorporate into their Rules
  • Unified Interpretations of IMO convention requirements which IACS Members apply uniformly when acting on behalf of authorizing flag Administrations, unless instructed otherwise
  • Procedural Requirements governing practices among IACS Members
  • Recommendations relating to adopted resolutions that are not necessarily matters of Class but which IACS considers would be helpful to offer some advice to the marine industry
  • Quality Documents containing QSCS (IACS’ Quality System Certification Scheme) description, Quality Management System Requirements, Audit Requirements, ACB (Accredited Certification Bodies) requirements and other quality procedures
  • IACS Charter and IACS Procedures which define the purpose, aim and working procedures of the Association.

In 2020, in response to approaches from a number of Member states, the IMO Secretary General and several industry associations, IACS issued addendums to a number of IACS PRs in response to the COVID-19 situation. These addendums are also included in the Blue book and Green book.

These publications will be of interest to Ship Designers, Consultants, Shipbuilders, Classification Societies, Ship-owners, Shipbrokers, Insurers, Associations, Accredited Certification Bodies, flag States, Port State Control, MOUs and the shipping industry at large and are available for download, free of charge, here.

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